It’s one thing to claim that you’ve learned a thing or two about the networking process. It’s another thing, entirely, to have held the title of “VP of Networking” for a major organization and to have experience building three powerful and vibrant networks from the ground up in three entirely different cities!
These latter achievements, however, are ones that Sandy Jones-Kaminski can proudly claim to her credit. And while some of us have managed to cobble together decent networks by staying in one place and being semi-gregarious over the course of a great many years, Sandy’s experience going through this process three times, from scratch, represents a whole different order of magnitude in terms of a relationship-management feat. So given all this, we were very excited when this friend of our firm announced that she was going to write a book to pass along some of her top learnings on the networking subject — and lo and behold, the day recently came when we finally got to hold a copy of “I’m At a Networking Event – Now What?” in our hot little hands!
While not the longest book you’ll ever pick up, at around 87 pages, Sandy has packed a ton of wisdom into this slim volume for those to whom networking is still a somewhat mysterious and uncomfortable process. Organized into nine chapters, the book discusses all of the stages involved in identifying some quality networking events in your area, preparing for them effectively, and conducting yourself like a pro once you’re on the scene. Along the way, she provides some terrific examples of introductory statements that can help you get the ball rolling with new acquaintances, as well as some examples of what NOT to say in these situations, an inclusion that some might say is equally (if not more) valuable. After all, for many people we’ve encountered, a few real-life “do and don’t” illustrations can go a long way toward helping one build up more networking savvy and confidence.
Additionally, one refreshing twist to the book is that Sandy doesn’t just limit the discussion of the networking subject to her own experience and opinions. She routinely inserts advice, blog postings, and contributing text from other authors (myself included, I’m proud to say!) to bring the material to life and add a multi-dimensional perspective. What’s more, she also goes to great lengths to introduce her readers to the “pay it forward” or “PIF” philosophy — and even instructs readers on how to host their own “PIF Parties” so that they can inspire their friends to perform thoughtful, selfless acts of assistance on a regular basis. It’s a pretty cool concept and one that appears to have caught on with many people in the Seattle market.
So all in all, sure, I’ll admit to being a bit biased here. It’s not all that often, after all, that one gets to enjoy seeing their name show up on the back of a book! But despite this fact, I’m confident that anybody seeking to learn the ropes of networking will benefit tremendously from reading “I’m At a Networking Event — Now What?” and absorbing Sandy’s unique point-of-view on the subject. The book is available at Amazon.com as well as through Sandy’s own website at www.belladomain.com — and if you got somebody in your family a Kindle electronic book reader for Christmas, hey, there’s even a version for that device, as well!