Steps to Networking – Step 50: Approaching Targets

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 12th, 2010


“Have a bias toward action — let’s see something happen now. Your can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away.” RICHARD THALHEIMER, THE SHARPER IMAGE FOUNDER

It’s a steamy, summer Sunday afternoon. You’ve been working like a dog in the yard in the blazing sun to round up mountains of junk that you’ve been stashing and trying to ignore for years. After a few hours, you run out of garbage bags and dash down to the store for a fresh supply.

You find the bags quickly and as you wait to pay, you spot the agent for that fabulous building where you’ve been dying to move your office. Although you’ve phoned her dozens of times, she seldom calls back and when she does, it’s always too late, the space has been rented. Normally, you would say hello, make small talk and ask if any vacancies might be coming up. Typically, you would use this chance meeting to turn on the charm and try to talk her into giving you advance notice of upcoming vacancies. But you’re sweaty, smelly and look like a slob. As much as you want to get into that building, you’re afraid that your appearance would permanently kill your kill your chances. So you bow your head, turn away, pay for the bags and duck out of the store on the double – – – letting the opportunity pass.

Smart networkers are always prepared to network. They know that at any time, at any place, they could meet someone they know or whom they would like to get to know. So whenever they’re out, they’re always ready, they are never caught unprepared. Savvy networkers never lose sight of their purpose, they what they want, and they are always neat, well groomed and appropriately dressed. Successful networkers understand the importance of making the best impression and they always expect and are prepared for the unexpected.

Know your purpose

Whether you go to the store, to the Elks Club or to the White House, know your purpose. Know why you’re there and exactly what you hope to achieve. Never leave anything to chance or wing it; always be ready to give your best.

Act appropriately under the circumstances and understand that you never know who is looking you, watching you and how that is going to affect you in the future.


The non-stop temptations plague workers in the hotel-casino industry. They are continually enticed by gambling, sumptuous dinning, elaborate receptions, free-flowing bars, spectacular shows, expense accounts and gorgeous women. It challenges even the most saintly to stay focused. Many fall victim, lose their perspective and forget that their companies sent them to these amidst these enticements to meet people and get business.

When Neil Mullanaphy was the sales manager at a major Atlantic City hotel-casino, the Hotel and Visitors Authority hired him to be the national sales manager for the opening of its new convention center. Mullanaphy learned that he was selected for his new position because for five or six years, the Authority’s top brass had observed him at trade shows, hospitality functions and other events. They noticed his ability to network, work a room and to keep his focus while so many of his colleagues strayed – – – and the Authority’s honchos remembered it.

Mullenaphy remained with the Authority for seven years, which gave him the credentials to get his present position as Director of Trade Show and Association Sale as Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Hotel. In addition, the woman who hired Mullenaphy at Mandalay Bay knew him from industry events that he attended for the Authority and his excellent reputation preceded his job application.

Whether you know it or know, people are always watching you. They’re monitoring you appearance, demeanor, focus and resolve. They’re making judgments about you, judgments that could affect your life.

Expect the unexpected. Know that when you least expect it you will encounter someone or something that can change everything. The next time you go to the movies, be prepared to see that elusive guy who never returns your calls. When see him, be ready to strut your stuff. When that moment comes, you may decide that it would be inappropriate to pitch and that it may be wiser to just say hello. But be prepared because he just might ask for what you were polite enough to withhold.

(Excerpted from NETWORKING MAGIC: Making Connections That Will Change Your Life By Rick Frishman and Jill Lublin With Mark Steisel)

Roger Due

Investing in Your Destiny® & Coaching Program - Wealth Building Summit Dallas, Texas

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