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Practical advice for nervous networkers
on 8 August 2010
One of Neil Munz-Jones's opening definitions of a reluctant networker reveals that his will be a pragmatic book: "You prefer email to the telephone for contacting new people or ones you do not know well". Don't we all fall into that trap so easily? "The Reluctant Networker" is your antidote!
If anyone doubted the importance of networking, Neil Munz-Jones provides evidence that up to 70% of positions are filled via networking and he recounts the unlikeliest of examples of how networking led to the sale of new consulting projects. The book is built on a sound premise, namely, that networking is "a two-way thing". This is not about "using" people but about building relationships which will be mutually beneficial. The author reminds us that it is easiest and most effective to network when you do not need a specific outcome, rather than when you are looking for a new job or trying to sell a new project. Laying the groundwork in advance is the key: networking should become "a lifelong approach to doing business".
The book contains many practical tips for making your networking more effective, for example, how to prepare for and what to include in a call, how to focus and spot tell-tale signs of networking which will lead nowhere, how to get the best out of networking events. There is advice about how to "develop a style that works for you", how to make it easy for others to network with you and encouragement for those inevitable rejections.
"The reluctant Networker" is an easy yet compelling read which will help to make anyone who is nervous about networking feel more at ease and be more effective. It also answers that golden question: why do some people help when it seems that there is nothing in it for them? Well, "never underestimate the willingness of people to help 'because they can'. You just need to ask and make it easy for them".