I did not know what to expect when one of my connections sent this book to me about year ago. Maybe that’s why it took me so long to open it up and actually start reading it. They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but that’s exactly what I did and now that I’m done reading it, my only regret is that I didn’t start reading it sooner because now I feel a little like I wasted my 2015 with mediocre networking practices (okay, I’m not that bad, but there was room for improvement).
I recommend that everyone read this book. From the young and green student to the retired CEO. Whether you think you’re a master networker or afraid to get your feet wet (I’m somewhere in between), this book will be worth the read. Personally, I learned something every chapter of this book and because I’m so excited to start using some of what I learned, instead of the typical, cookie cutter book reviews I’ve done, I want to share some of that knowledge I received. Maybe it will inspire you to get yourself a copy and up your networking game in 2016.
9 Things I Learned from The Frog and Prince – Secrets of Positive Networking
1. Less than 20% of people enjoy networking and less than 10% of people are really good at it. What this says to me is, if you’re good at networking, it will differentiate you from your competition.
2. “Positive networking is discovering what you can do for someone else.” So contrary to popular belief, networking (at the heart of it all) is not about you. It’s not about pitching and selling your brand. It’s about getting to know other people. It’s about adding value to someone else’s life, not just collecting business cards and fluffing your rolodex.
3. “More than 80% of the time, people who find jobs through networking, find them through weak connections.” The lesson here is simple: every connection matters, so try to keep the fire burning, even if it’s just a little flame that you fan from time to time.
4. The Business Card Eye Test. Can people read the information on your card in dim lighting? Many networking events take place in a low light setting, but this is not a point I ever considered. There are other business card design tips in the book as well.
5. Consider having a calling card. Sometimes giving out a business card may not be appropriate (or you just may not feel comfortable) in every situation (i.e. funerals, competitor events, etc…). In those situations, a calling card can be a good way to still pass along your information.
6. When accepting a business card look at it, read it, comment on it. This seems like a no-brainer, but I can’t confidently say that I was doing this every time I accepted someone’s business card.
7. At networking events, always invite people into your circle. If you’re part of a group conversation and someone walks up to said group, do them a favor and stop the conversation as soon as appropriately possible to introduce yourself and others in the circle. Quickly bring them up to speed on the topic as well.
8. Bring a Networking Survival Kit to every event. The contents of your kit may vary, but here are a few things to keep in it: business cards (duh), stain remover, wet wipes, mints, and a sewing kit.
9. Network everywhere and with everyone. Network at more than just “networking events” and network with more than just people in higher positions than you. Everyone is valuable and networking opportunities are everywhere.
In between those easy to read 185 pages, how I thought of networking changed and I feel excited, ready and empowered to become a power networker in 2016. So what do you think, will you be checking out the book?