The Original Linked In: What is the Point of Networking?

Headhunting is no foreign idea to the retail and sales trade, as a matter of fact I cannot think of a more obvious opportunity for you to put yourself out there and prove your skills to hundreds or even thousands of strangers (or potential colleagues) a week.  I cannot count the amount of times I was asked for my name, my interests in my future , if I had ever considered changing careers while I worked my sales floor on a Saturday afternoon (even a marriage proposal here and there), all respectfully declined for my extreme over the top commitment and enthusiasm for my company.  I think now, what if…

It was not until I had finally received the chance to accompany my new fiancé to a networking social that the actual ease of networking truly clicked.  We rubbed shoulders, bumped elbows, shook hands, and talked the breeze with a senator, some congressmen, and presidents of several very well known multi-billion dollar firms.  Personal business cards were exchanged left and right at the conclusion of conversations, met with some scheduled form of communication in the upcoming weeks.   Through this act we became connected with many big names, answering calls, growing a business.  It was as simple as a great attitude, a gracious smile, and a smashing outfit.

If you are on the sales floor today your possibilities are endless, your networking train infinite!  Less like congressmen and senators, and more like retail managers, business hot shots, and even peers with bright futures.  How do you make those moments last?  When asked for your information carry your own personal cards with your personal email and your phone number, keep it simple, keep it generic, keep it professional.  Do not discuss leaving your company, especially not on the sales floor, but do appear interested in what they may have to say when you are off the clock.  Even if their offer is not spectacular, you have just made  a connection you could keep for a time of need down the road.  Maintain a tin box of connections, write notes on the back of the cards to remind you who they are(and sometimes who they know), when you met them, where they work, and what they could do for you.

The following post in Forbes is a perfect example of handling your business cards in the moment and on the sales floor:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2015/01/24/why-you-need-your-own-business-cards/

4 thoughts on “The Original Linked In: What is the Point of Networking?

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