copyright 2010 Jim Lockman/Click!

Talking to a friend this weekend , he remarked that he needed to “get out and do more.” I thought he was talking about finding more creative ideas of adventures outside of the home. He has a young child and one on the way and like many of us gets trapped into an evening being entertained by the tube and Facebook.

When I questioned him, his response was that he wasn’t looking for things to do. He was looking “to see and be seen.” This friend is looking for new employment possibilities and realizes networking is one of the best ways “to discover and be discovered.”

Whether you are looking for a job or seeking new markets for your products or services,  word-of-mouth is one of the most effective means of spreading your message. This is another reason social media has great potential in the business world.

I am on the board of directors of a non-profit corporation. Recently, I realized that I don’t even know who some of the other board members are. If I don’t know them, it is pretty certain they don’t know me or what it is I do when I’m not sitting in a meeting.

Bob Janet, a sales consultant, gives out yard sticks at his meetings with the inscription, “The three-foot rule: Everyone within three feet of you must know who you are and  how you can solve their problems.”

Begin today to build new relationships and let those who come into contact with you  know who you are and what you do. The more you practice this simple step, the more opportunities will come your way.

Business cards are cheap. Even though business cards are not as important as the were in the past, they provide a vehicle to “give and get” contact information. Be sure to write vital information on the back of the card to remind you where and how you met your new contact. A handwritten note or e-mail sent later will help cement you in this person’s mind. Even if he does not use or need your services, how many people does he know? Always ask people to keep you in mind when a need arises or someone they know needs help.

Over the past four months, I have met with a printing salesman four times.  Every time I ask for his business card, he doesn’t have one with him.  He either left them at his office or ran out. During this time he even started a new business and I still don’t have a card!

In the past I had this problem. Now I carry little card cases everywhere I go. All of my  jackets and sport coats have card cases. There are cards in the glove compartments of my cars.  All of my camera cases carry business cards. And many of my associates have extra cards to give out when someone needs me.

It isn’t just what you know, and it isn’t just who you know. It’s actually who you know, who knows you, and what you do for a living.

 Bob Burg



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