Dern's "Brush Up Your Handshake" (Bullet Items)


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Basic Efficient Networking Tips/Reminders

Daniel P. Dern
(ddern@world.std.com)

Basic Networking Tips -- Bullet points of presentation being given at Temple Emmanuel (Newton, Mass.) Wednesday night networking meeting, October 10, 2002.

HOMEWORK/CHORES TO HAVE DONE!

Before you "go (out in) public" you should have, or have done (or come up with a good reason to not have done) these networking basics:

  • Have business cards. Carry them with you.
  • Have a phone number with voice mail (or answering machine). If other people answer it, make sure they answer politely and take good messages.
  • Email. Have it, use it. Don't use a cute name. Use a good virus checker.
  • Web site. A simple "who I am, what I do, how to contact me" one-pager will do. No "Under Construction" signs!
  • "Elevator Speech" -- be ready to cite projects/prices, if appropriate. (See my article, "How to Set Prices for Your Services" at www.dern.com/hw2price.shtml for more on this.)
  • Resume. Consider text and Word versions.
  • Short Boilerplate Contact/Follow-Up Message
  • Business Garb.

EFFECTIVE HANDSHAKING: The Business Card Hand-Off

Carry your business cards in one pocket, put other peoples' into another (so you always get one of yours when you reach in your pocket for a card, never somebody else's.) E.g., yours in right hand pocket, other peoples' into left-hand pocket.

  • Avoids mix-ups or fumbles when getting one to have over
  • Easier to sort out afterwards
  • Make brief notes when you get them

A FEW QUICK THOUGHTS ON PHONE CALLS

For "cold calls" (where you don't know the person):

  • Give your name slowly and clearly when they answer.
  • Have a clear and legitimate reason for calling.
  • Don't (unnecesssarily) ask for something that could lead to a "No."
  • o Know peoples' good/bad times to be called.

"Warm calls" (periodic, e.g., every few months) are good to maintain relationships, and can be done on the "simply checking in to make sure you know I'm still (looking, in business, etc.)" basis.

DON'T GIVE AWAY THE STORE

Don't offer too much advice/information for free, if it's what you usually charge for. Look to convert it at least to selling an hour of time.

Daniel P. Dern (www.dern.com) is currently a free-lance technology writer (journalism and marketing). He has written about and taught about efficient self-promotion and other marketing/PR issues.

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Copyright © Daniel P. Dern
Last modified: Friday, 25-Oct-2002 13:47:30 EDT