Networking the Right Way

I just read a great article by Ellen Talley of The New Parcraft and Designweave in Building Long Island entitled “Network? Of Course.  But Try it Without the Net.”

In her article Ellen tells this story:

I’d made an appointment to meet with an interior designer who had recently switched to a firm located in Long Island City and was looking forward to getting reacquainted.  I dragged my wares through the rain and up a long flight of stares to her office, in an old warehouse building.  Drenches and exhausted I was greeted at the top by a young man looking at me quizzically.  While I waited for my friend, he explained he was the principal of the firm and said, “You look familiar.”  And so ensued a where-are-you-from game.

An exchange of bios didn’t uncover a connection so I gave a brief recap:  “You are from Jersey, I’m from Long Island, you went to school in Philly, I went to Boston…”  “Where in Boston?” “Tufts,” I said.  “That’s it!” he announced.  I’d thought he’d gone to Penn, but it turned out that was for his architecture degree, and he had graduated from Tufts a year after me.  That established, we discovered that one of my housemates was his best friend.  My new friend’s excitement was contagious-he even sent our mutual acquaintance an e-mail on the spot.  I was equally excited: I had a new business relationship!”

What I like about Ellen’s story is her focus on the development of a new relationship.  Notice that Ellen didn’t start by giving an elevator pitch or trading business cards with the principal, rather she focused on making a connection.  Good networkers know that when you start by making a connection, rather than a sales pitch, the rest will follow.

If you would like to connect with Ellen she can be reached at:

Ellen Talley
The New Patcraft & Designweave
PO Box 2128
Dalton, GA 30722
800.713.6997 x5188


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