Allison Grahm's book is one of the top three networking books I would recommend anyone read, especially new graduates. The book is set out into 4 major sections or "pillars", with short chapters, making it a quick and easy read.
In the first pillar, Graham sets out what the reader should understand networking to be, what the reader can hope to achieve from having a strong network, and what networking is not.
The second pillar is the one most final year university students or recent graduates will find most beneficial: valuable information about building one's brand, and especially one's professional appearance.
The final two pillars offer the most value for professionals. Pillar three gives great tips on what to do at networking events. One of the most insightful chapters was Chapter 34 on how to calculate the return on attending networking events, beyond just the dollar cost of the ticket.
Attending events and making the small talk at the events has always been one of the easier parts of networking. Most people would benefit from Chapter 56 "Following Up", since 80% of people never seem to follow up after meeting someone at a networking event. In this chapter, Graham demonstrates the value of the information she provides when she reminds everyone that following up does not create a relationship.
My biggest challenge has always been maintaining the relationship afterwards. Thankfully, Graham dedicated an entire chapter to this topic, and provides useful information about how to maintain contact, including tips to stay visible, and lunching daily with different people.
One of the most valuable chapters is the one where she sets out the Relationship Development Action Plan. Graham breaks out contacts into four categories: connectors; target market, which are your prospects or suspects as she calls them; general contacts; and random names, and gives advice on how to deal with each one.
Whether you are struggling to build your network, or just looking for some inspiration on how to do it, this is a great book to read.
The first edition was 4 stars. This fantastic second edition continues the author's focus on not just networking but creating a "profitable network". A must read for those seeking employment or to develop a career where business theory turns into profitable reality. Be it for-profit or charitably donated social-profit.
Today in a social media obsessed world, every grad is told "now you have the education, start working on 'brand you' ". What they mean is... you need a networking plan. The author goes right back to basics about why a smile is important, what does eye contact say about you, dressing for success to the fundamentals of being approachable, the ROI of networking events to understanding core values like the concept of 'character Vs behaviour' and navigating the C-Suite. Educators often try to scare College and University graduates into networking by warning them about the "Hidden Job Market". Instead they should be given this book. MBA and B-School types, this is required reading for business success.
There is so much value in these pages: The author's "seven steps to business confidence" could be a book in itself. Seven pages on how to create your conversational script - how to be fluid and authentic when talking about your business. Over fifteen pages on email, phone, mobile and face to face etiquette. A much needed skill in a text/email world that is quickly losing these skills.
So, if you work for a living, or want to. Buy it. Read it. Live it. And Profit.
The first book rocked my working-world. Thank you Allison Graham for the refresh and recharge!
It is better to read this book earlier in your career than later, but better to have read and implemented it half-heartedly than to do nothing with all your contacts, which is what most of us do with all except our obvious favourites. This book really stresses the importance of getting out there and building relationships, and it breaks down and reduces the "but I'm shy and this feels smarmy" inhibitions that a lot of people may have, particularly when starting out. It becomes obvious when one reads it that there are MANY things you could be doing a lot better, and in fact, there are a few things you are doing wrong. Pragmatically, put the past in the past and put your right foot forward. The author is gentle and self-deprecating this way, which helps.
That said, a few chapters were just taking the low hanging fruit. (Yeah, some people might want to check that they have bad breath or bad b.o. I'd prefer a more medicine-clinical or humourous treatment of these subjects.) And, any book that demands of the writer to do inventories and checklists, makes it seem more complicated than it might be, and then has broken website links for the extra materials is not helping the reader, they are hindering. Business card management and relationship building is baffling to most of us. Anything that makes it easier before venturing into the strategic helps, but even the strategic must be kept simple.
If you're seeking a funny, common sense, how-to-build-business-relationships guide, this book is for you. It was recommended in a business program and I wasn't disappointed. A quick read. Offers you solid, easy-to-implement, non-icky connecting methods for building solid long-term business relationships—unfortunately, something we're not taught in school. For example, checking your outfit in the mirror before you leave your home (i.e. to avoid those embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions at business events). All about personal branding strategies, sharing your business goals and how to meet new people and build connections in an authentic way. Enjoy.
Excellent book. Even though I know a lot of this information from 28 years of professional experience, I did learn some new helpful tidbits. This book well written and is packed with excellent, thorough, realistic, and specific advice for anyone wanting to further their career by focusing on networking and putting their best foot forward.