What is the main message of Strategic Networking for Introverts, Extroverts and Everyone in Between?
Many people think that networking is about parties and strangers and standing around trying to look busy—and they don’t want to do it. But it is not about events. It is about building relationships with people who can help you move toward your goals and whom you can help in return. The main message of my book is that networking works most efficiently and effectively when it is strategic—when you have a written plan that includes networking activities as a key strategy for reaching your goals.
Who would get the most out of reading your book?
It is written for everyone; for introverts who are scared of the social requirements and for extroverts who “woof” through events glad-handing everyone and getting to first base with no one. Anyone who wants to be a great networker can learn something from the book. (Check out the reviews in the front of the book.)
What inspired you to write this book?
I have coached many attorneys and accountants on personal marketing techniques and was struck by the fact that so many saw networking as socializing they did not want to do. I also felt that most networking books were less how-to and more about the brilliant techniques of the successful author, that if copied by others, would make the readers successful too. Finally, as an introvert myself, I had to get past the “networking as party” notion in order to find a way to obtain colleagues and clients.
What problem faced by lawyers does Strategic Networking for Introverts, Extroverts and Everyone in Between solve/address?
Professionals need clients in order to practice what they know and make money. Potential clients need to “feel the flesh,”—get to know someone and trust them in order to ask for help with problems that are important to them. So, networking.
To gain clients, professionals need to attract clients and referral sources by letting others know what they do, why they do it and how successful they are. This means getting to know other people, which usually occurs through networking activities.
Yet many attorneys and accountants are not naturally adept at making friends and interesting others in how they can help them. They are not taught these skills in school. This book provides a chapter by chapter how-to approach for crafting a customized, comfortable networking strategy for professionals who want to network effectively.
How is this book different than other books written on this topic?
Most other networking books are less how-to and more about show and tell. They offer interesting stories and insights but leave it to the reader to make connections between what they did well and what the reader can do. My book is focused on the how-to, explaining the how and why of techniques I learned to help an intellectual introvert (me) network successfully enough to have a productive consulting career.
What was your biggest challenge in writing this book?
There is so much to explain and share that it was hard to pare it down to only 228 pages! Also, as you get into the process you tend to write for yourself, leaving out key transition points that the reader needs to follow along. Luckily, I had excellent readers to help me identify and flesh out those spots.
What do you think will surprise readers most about your book?
It’s good reading. The content combines a practical discussion of networking nuts and bolts balanced by easy reading, real-life, fun vignettes from the three dozen excellent networkers I interviewed for the book. I think readers will be surprised at how quickly they will read the text, and how easily they can apply the lessons to their own worlds.
What is the most important takeaway readers will get?
“Anyone can whistle,” I mean “network,” because good networking is more about attitude than aptitude. It is about wanting to help others, who in turn will help you.