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

ellen.talley(at)patcraftdesignweave.com
TheNewPatcraftDesignweave.com

You Are Not Alone

“I just finished reading your article on Networking in the Marketer. I really enjoyed your approach and have a similar philosophy. I was glad to learn I was not alone.”

Ellen Talley with The New Patcraft & Designweave wrote me this note in response to the article entitled ‘Rethink Networking’ that was published in the February edition of Marketer. Let me reinforce that Ellen and I are nowhere near alone in this approach to networking.

I have known business development people that seem to know everyone, yet when it comes to bringing work in the door, they failed miserably. The reality is that networking is about helping other people, developing relationships that benefit and build up. Those that embrace this philosophy excel at networking. Thank you Ellen for your comments, and trust me, you are part of a large and successful group of people.