Sunday, 31 March 2013

Network like a Spy

When it comes to networking, any good sales executive will seize the opportunity to go to a particular conference where the speakers are the go to guys in their given industry. It makes sense to get their take on what is happening, where future trends are headed. It is also very likely that there will be a good calibre of delegates in attendance to hear the gurus message. All that makes for great networking possibilities.

None of this is news. When it comes to networking, we have the rule of thumb, the more important people we can meet the better. The higher up you can network in your industry the better.

Consider another complementary approach. Network downwards. In her book ‘Work Like a Spy: Business Tips from a Former CIA Officer’ J.C. Carleson explains how it pays to establish relationships at all levels, from the secretary who can choose whether or not to put your call through, to the software developer who can give you the inside track on those quality control issues. The most effective networks are far-reaching in all directions, up and down.

So take time to get to know the admin staff, the delivery guys, in your own organisation and your clients organisations. There is more to networking than hob knobbing it at conferences.

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