Chapter 35

Networking Effectively with Spouses, Friends, and Work Colleagues

Your decision to proactively build your business network means some of your habits will have to change. Talking all night with your best friend at business functions or treating business functions as dates with your spouse will not garner the results you want.

Networking buddies who enable you to network and vice versa are gems to find. Done correctly, the two of you can increase your confidence because you always have each other to return to, but not for long, if you're left on your own. You can also double the number of contacts you meet by splitting up and meeting different people. If one of you finds an ideal quality contact for the other, you can make a point of introducing the two of you.

The right networking companion can act as your cheerleader by sharing appropriate personal highlights and success stories to give you credibility. These would be tacky for you to share during an introduction. Later in the relationship, once the dialogue is more free-flowing, you can share your own successes, but at the beginning of a relationship it's more effective to let someone else toot your horn. It's sort of like when you were younger, if you had a mom who was over the top in sharing your successes, she would introduce you to someone and announce that you just won an award at school. It's okay if she said it, but if you said “Hi, I'm Allison and I just won the business award,” people would look at you sideways ...

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