When networking for business development or finding a job, you must know your value proposition. In other words, if you want to be hired as someone’s lawyer or employee, be prepared to convincingly state why you are different and better from the others being considered. For some, this is easier said than done. Eventually though, most are able refine their “story” in a compelling manner.
Now here is one area where it takes very little effort to be “different and better” than the others. How is that? By simply being polite and remembering two words: “thank you.”
People are helping you when networking
I have not been surprised that in these times, I am being invited more than ever to network with someone, especially those unemployed. Under most circumstances, I will provide free career counseling in a networking setting. I do not expect to hired for more future formal counseling, since they usually lack the funds.
I take a long-term view of networking. I hope that these people remember that I helped them. In the future, they may be able to help me.
What not to do when networking
But when I help, I expect to be thanked. One of the basic rules of Networking 101 is to thank the people you meet. I recently met with someone who violated this fundamental rule. No wonder he is having a hard time finding a job. I can only imagine what else he is doing wrong when looking for work if he was so thoughtless with me.
How should you say thank you? A personal note is the best. It takes five minutes and the cost of a stamp. At a minimum, send an e-mail. Do something, or else your value proposition will be “I am inconsiderate.” Is that how you want to be remembered?
Oh, and by the way, thank you for taking the time to read my post.