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From Business Cards to Business Relationships: Personal Branding and Profitable Networking Made Easy, 2nd Edition by Allison Graham

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Chapter 59

Tapping into Your Network

It's one thing to know a lot of people; it's another thing to be able to tap into those resources. People who network well establish a professional environment that encourages networking and collaboration. By networking with others, they set the stage for others to network with them. They've learned how to maximize the give-and-take roles that naturally occur in relationships.

The first requirement to tap into your network is to have a network established. If people don't know who you are, what you do, and what you have to offer, nor do they like you, trust you, and believe you are competent, you won't have a foundation from which to build.

Develop your network before you need it. It's never too early to start. Even if you're not looking for a job today, you never know what the future may bring. It's easier to request a donation from a contact with whom you've communicated for two years than from a person you've met once.

To tap into your network, you'll need to be clear about what you need and when you need it. Don't be shy about letting people know you are looking to grow your business, are open for new job opportunities, or are hoping for their charitable support for a fundraiser you're volunteering to organize. When you are networking properly and professionally, people will want to help you and see you succeed.

Give advance notice ahead of when you need their help. For example, if you've joined a fundraising committee, when you are engaged ...

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