On October 8, members of Career Source Tampa Bay had an opportunity to learn about leveraging their network from Aakash Patel at the Transitioning Executives Network event. The presentation was designed to give professionals confidence in their networking ability. Those in attendance learned how to make the most out of their networking encounters with other business professionals.
After detailing his background and how he came to be President of Elevate, Inc., Patel went on to describe how every interaction is a networking opportunity. The next great opportunity could come from a friend of a friend or a future connection, so it is extremely important to take advantage of any networking interaction you may encounter. “Have business cards in your car, gym bag, wherever you go,” says Patel. “Make sure you let people know who you are and what you do.”
Patel’s advice for following up is to do so within 24 hours of meeting that person. This will show you have quick responsiveness and are eager to engage that acquaintance. The goal of this first email correspondence is to schedule a time to speak over the phone. Before ending that phone conversation, make sure to have that person bring their schedule up to reserve a time to meet in person if it is appropriate. Simple interactions such as the follow-up email and phone call lay the foundation for that in-person meeting.
Aakash shared with the group his method of following up with connections that is used by himself as well as Elevate. All you need is Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. With Microsoft Word, create an email template to use for follow-ups, as this will save you time when sending follow-up emails. With Microsoft Excel, keep track of business card information to use for future reference. This spreadsheet will allow you to keep track of contact information, as well as where you met that person and what they do.
Aakash stressed the importance of putting yourself out there and setting personal goals. “When you’re out there networking, set a goal for yourself. Get 10 cards. Get 15 business cards. There are no repercussions. This is a number you set for yourself.” Networking yourself, as well as your business, is a constant process. Anyone you meet could be that next client, employee, or employer, so it is important to develop a system for effective introductions.
Systems like these have led Aakash Patel to become a networking guru and Elevate to become the hub of connectivity that it is. The goal of this method is to develop a recurring system for connecting with professionals. The more the system is exercised, the more refined it will become. Visit www.Elevate-inc.com to learn about how we use this system in our operating procedures and what makes Elevate such an effective source of connectivity.
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This post was written by Elevate, Inc.