Thursday, March 6, 2008

Cambridge Who's Who Strategies for Successful Networking

Networking is the ability to maximize and expand your current relationships while discovering new ones to further develop your growth. Networking creates new business and career opportunities; it is a means to evaluate, assess and approach potential clients and business associates. To be successful, you must invest time in learning specific techniques and methods that will help you to develop your networking skill set. In particular, research, interaction and self-presentation are essential to effective networking. Anyone is able to hone their skills by utilizing the tools available on professional networking websites such as

It is not just the exchange of contact information that is important. It is also crucial to create follow-up strategies to develop relationships with those whose information you have collected. Joining an organization like Cambridge Who’s Who that offers an online networking platform will generate more results than cold calling or mass emailing. Many contacts and jobs are found through the internet, as each person you interact with online has his/her own set of contacts who would be valuable additions to your personal or professional network. So while you should make it a priority to keep the lines of communication open with your confirmed contacts, focus also on tapping into their network and requesting introductions to contacts with whom they have established relationships. The success you have in business greatly depends on making your network channels lucrative. Consider what benefits can be derived from successful networking: you are able to gather information to produce positive results; it is an avenue to share leads, ideas and expertise; it is a path to accomplish goals through synergy and teamwork; it is a means of feedback to validate the accuracy of your own ideas; it is also a channel to promote your ideas or products.

Today with the advancement in technology and accessibility to worldwide markets, effectiveness in networking is essential. Efficient networking benefits you by reducing the low yield odds of working alone. Leveraging your relationships with fellow members in professional societies such as Cambridge Who’s Who increases your productivity by expanding your resources and creating greater results in less time. Learn to capitalize on your interactions and convers ations with others. Learn how to use the tools provided through membership. At Cambridge Who’s Who, creating a robust profile, advertising in Events, Marketplace and CamBiz and activating your CWW Email account will make you more available to those seeking to network. Updating your settings so that Cambridge brings the events, Marketplace ads, CamBizlistings and member profiles of interest right to you will save you time and energy.

Expanding your network takes a conscious effort. Start by searching through a registry or networking database like the one provided to Cambridge Who’s Who members. Create a list of those members you find of interest. Include their name, title, company name, industry, major skills and achievements and contact information and specify why you are interested in networking with them. Then make a list of your skills, professional accomplishments and short-term and long-term goals. Be clear about what you have to offer others and what you are seeking from others. This will help you tremendously when you are ready to reach out to potential contacts via telephone or email.

Conversation is the key tool to networking. Simply contacting a person is not enough. The interaction that you have with them is what unites you or separates you. A very good contact may well be lost due to poor communication skills. A person who is overbearing or self-promoting will always be avoided. Prepare yourself beforehand. Research your members, read up on their industry and profession and become informed. Be natural; it is easy to pick up on someone who is trying too hard. Be a good listener; let others talk about their business and interests and take your cue when it is your time to chime in. The way that you present yourself will have a lasting impact on how you are received by others.

Collecting and exchanging email addresses can build your network rather quickly. The addresses you accumulate can be the beginning of new friendships, professional relationships and business opportunities. To be successful, you must present yourself as a professional. Keep in mind that you need to build a rapport with others before they will consider you as a valuable and trustworthy contact. Use a professional email address and send personalized emails instead of form letters. A person’s online biographical profile will say a lot about them. When storing their information into your email account, write notes about them in the section provided. This will help you to recall how you obtained their contact information, what existing affiliations you may have to them and why you would like them to be part of your network. A personal CWW Email account allows you to add additional information such as alternate email addresses, phone numbers, websites, screen names, photos and much more. These notes will help you to remember the people in your online address book and provide additional ways to contact them should they relocate or change jobs in the future.

When you are networking, do not use the people you meet strictly for gain. Ambition without consideration and gratitude does not promote lasting relationships. An ideal networking relationship is one in which both parties benefit from the connection. You will get out of your professional relationships as much time and effort as you put into them. Keep the attitude of giving first and receiving later. Successful networkers provide resources and initiate opportunities for others. Integrity is important; keep your word and do not promise what you cannot deliver.

If you have not done so already, begin actively networking immediately. Today we have access to professionals from around the world through online business networks. Online networking is an exciting channel to use because it helps you to find new contacts easily and puts your name, skills and accomplishments on the map, so others will reach out to you. As the center of your network, you determine how much or little you will benefit from networking. Take advantage of the resources available to you, and you will make the contacts you need to be successful in your profession and in life. Cambridge Who’s Who provides you with the tools to build relationships, advance in your career and expand your business. Use Cambridge to open the door to a world of opportunities.

Cambridge Who’s Who
Bridging Who You Are with Who You Need to Know