Welcome back, everyone! We hope that you’re enjoying the summer heat, spending time outdoors and in the fresh air, and always searching for a quick read while you’re at it. If so, keep reading here to find out how to capitalize on summer downtime by engaging in networking calls! Whether this means chatting with other employees at the company, family friends, mentors, professors, or connections in other industries, networking calls are one of our keys to success.
How to Lead Successful Networking Calls…
- Preparation and Purpose: Before engaging in these phones calls, it’s crucial to conduct a quick search on the person’s background, and a light gauge of their current work so as to avoid taking a large portion of time dedicated solely to introductions. Make sure to prepare specific questions relating to their career trajectory, project success, company experiences, etc. If you could ask your prepared questions to anyone, that’s a sign that they are not meaningful enough for the person you’re speaking with.
- Ask Specific Questions: As it relates to our point above, you should not be asking questions like, “How’d you get here?” or “So, what do you do?” If you’ve initiated a chat, it is likely for a specific purpose to learn more about a role. For example, if you’re speaking to someone on the public relations side of the business, focus questions around, “How have you handled our company’s relationship with X topic/company/etc.? How much of your time do you spend avoiding negative PR vs creating positive PR?” Always make the employee feel valued! After all, they dedicated a portion of their day specifically to you.
- Thank Them for their Time! Always always always make sure to express gratitude to the person for taking up a part of their day to speak with you. Thank the person for discussing their role, opening up about a certain topic, offering advice or direction, etc. We also encourage you to follow up with a thank you note or email to wrap up the chat in a kind way.
- Maintain the Relationship: A coffee chat might be a periodic occurrence, but communication should not be. Make sure to maintain the relationships that you’ve worked to schedule and cultivate! Whether this means a weekly check-in, email update of your recent accomplishments, or quick link to a relevant article, make sure to keep consistent contact and follow-up after your thank you note!
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