Marben Bland

Speaker WriterStrategist

Fortune Favors the Prepared Networker

In today's complex world no one person can maintain both the breadth and depth of knowledge across all fields and functions that is needed to be successful. However, there are those that have deliberately, with care, put together a vibrant network; so that they will have a group with technical expertise just a phone call away.


The Prepared Networker


Developing a vibrant network with the expertise and connections needed to power your career does not happen by chance. It takes preparation! The preparation required to become a "Prepared Networker" is not tedious, difficult or time consuming. In fact, it simply takes a commitment to practice a few common sense ideas that few, relatively take the time or effort to master.


Prepare for the Conversation    


The conversation is the heart of the networking encounter. It establishes rapport and becomes the baseline for future interactions. The "Prepared Networker" has mastered the art of the conversation using these 5 effective steps:


1. Listening is More Important than Talking


People can tell when you are not truly listening; and just waiting to spit your next thought out. Make it a point to listen before you speak. If your story is really interesting, it will still be interesting in five minutes.


2. Ask Smart Questions


One of the best ways to establish a rock-solid connection with your new found networking contact is to ask questions. A question helps us in our listening by establishing a natural curiosity for what the other person is telling you. You can show off your expertise and impress the person that you are talking to when your questions are smart and knowledgeable.


3. Do Your Homework


How do you ask smart and knowledgeable questions? Do your homework on the people you are likely to meet. Take a look at the person's LinkedIn profile, Twitter account or Facebook page; they can give you a wealth of information that can give you the advantage in any conversation. However, remember homework can go both ways. So always ensure your social media is updated and represents who you are truly.


4. Offer to Help - And Deliver!


The "Prepared Networker" knows that true networking is about giving more of you than expecting something in return.   Simply offer a helping hand and fulfill the promise. Anybody can offer to help someone during a conversation. However, only a small percentage actually delivers on their promise. People will value the relationship more when you actually provide the references that you have suggested: a contact, information, or even a sounding board.


5. Follow Up and Constant Contact


So you have met this wonderful contact! What's next? Three suggestions: First, follow up on any commitment you have made during your conversation. Second, ensure that you connect with them on LinkedIn and other social media to remain updated on their career or personal moves. Third, place that person's contact information into your contact management database. If you don't have a contact management database, Outlook, G-Mail, and Yahoo email services all have them built into their programs.  


The Bottom Line: 'Luck is what Happens when Preparation Meets Opportunity'


As luck will have it, the opportunity to connect with that person who will help you achieve your goals will happen. The question is how prepared will you be when that opportunity arrives? Become a "Prepared Networker" in all the phases of the personal connection. Invest 3 hours with me and learn practical techniques that will take your LinkedIn experience to the next level and beyond. Join me in Pittsburgh on September 17th for LinkedIn Simplified. Register Now



Linked Simplified Seminar

 September 18, 2013 Pittsburgh

Register Now

Marben Bland
 MDB Redbox 

Marben Bland is a Writer, Speaker and Strategist focused on working with emerging biotech and high tech companies. Comment on this post at

He writes the weekly How to be a LinkedIn Ninja blog and is a popular speaker at trade shows and seminars. Call Marben today at 608.358.1309 to have him train your company or speak at your next event.


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