Grant Thornton

Coming Soon: Q4 Call in dates! 

Video Archive Re-Release: How To Work a Room

Check out this extensive video that takes you from soup to nuts at a networking event. Feel free to refer to the resources page for a quick reference. You’ll find time break outs, so you can zero in on what’s important to you!

Networking Baby Steps: July 11th:

Try Your Hand at a “Low Touch” Shout-Out.

For those of you who have created your personalized CMS, use this week to take it out for a spin.

This is how to do it:

  1. Choose a ‘fun summer’ article that both resonates with you and falls into one of your CMS categories. I bet you can find a juicy article online. Alternatively, here are a few you can ‘borrow’ from me if you’d like:
  • Entertaining out of town guests in NYC? Here’s a fun way to show them a ‘different side’ of the city (it’s one of my absolute favorite things to do with out-of-town guests).
  • A hot new NYC
  • An amazing and FREE Day-cation is a 70-minute train ride away (shameless promotion for DRIVEN Professionals).
  • Wine suggestions for spring and summer sipping.
  • More reasons to LOVE meditation.
  1. On a Word document, draft a quick generic email. An example: “I hope you’re enjoying your summer. I’m sending this article to you with the intention of putting a smile on your face and a summer activity idea onto your calendar. Feel free to report back on the enjoyment factor.  It’ll be fun to swap stories.”

Of course, this has to reflect you, your style and the purpose of the article that you’re sending.

  1. Create an email for the first recipient on the list with a snappy subject line. Write in “dear ____,”. Copy and paste the draft of the note into the email, and send it off! Repeat right down the list. Then, get ready to put smiles onto some of your contacts’ faces.

Networking Baby Steps: July 5th:

  • Manager | Director: Pacing: Follow-up and Long Term Planning for Relationship Development
  • Senior Associate: Position Yourself as a Key Player in a Networking Environment
  • Staff: Follow-Up Strategy: A First Step Towards Network Automation

Networking Baby Steps: June 27th:

Networking is NEVER the most urgent task on our to-do list. If we don’t make it a priority, like exercise, it won’t ever get done. If we don’t get it done, we will not maximize our career potential.

The way to ‘get networking done’ – is to make it a habit. A habit is tough to embed, but once it IS embedded, it is easy to follow.

So as the summer days glide by, make ‘creating a networking habit’ one of your summer goals. Ask yourself these three questions:

  • Are you blocking out TIME each week to network?
  • Have you identified a low | mass | and high touch opportunity for this week – and next week?
  • Are you reaching out to the 12 contacts you’ve identified as key connections? This should become a monthly practice… and the 12 connections will eventually turn into 12 dozen ‘key’ contacts.

If you answered ‘NO’ to any of these three questions, take 15 minutes to change that ‘NO’ to ‘YES’. You have the ability, the opportunity, and the need to incorporate networking into your life. Gain some traction this summer…

If you answered ‘YES’ to all of these questions, give yourself an ‘atta girl’ and keep up the good work.

 

Networking Baby Steps: June 13th:

  • Manager | Director: provide a thoughtful introduction to someone in your network.
  • Senior Associate: Compose a LinkedIn recommendation to a deserving colleague.
  • Staff: Create a master birthday list.
  • CHECK OUT the low | mass | high touch chart that you put together as methods to stay in touch with your contacts.

High_low_mass_touch_chart

Networking Baby Steps: June 6th:

Here are your three easy steps to accomplish your networking goals for this week:
  1. Block out ONE hour this week to focus on network and business development. 
  2. Use that one hour to work on the GT Action Plan Worksheet: check out the progression charts here
  3. For 4 days this week, spend 15 minutes scrolling through your LinkedIn feed and like & comment on the entries that you feel are important. 

In Preparation for June 2nd:

DRIVEN is looking forward to providing the next installment of ‘know how’ to continue to build your network and business development plan. If you haven’t been able to dive into the program over the last few months, we get it. BUT this is the week to begin. In order to maximize our time together, please prepare by considering these three easy steps:

  • Jot down the names of a dozen professionals who you consider to be potential network contacts.
  • Take 1 hour to set up your CMS (scroll down to Baby Steps week of 3-28 for instructions)
  • Come ready to carve out 2 hours each week to network.

If you have been active in your networking efforts, get ready to share your experiences in a safe space, and take these relationships to the next level! Take 15 minutes to reflect and jot down some notes about:

  1. What outreach did you achieve?
  2. What new contacts are you in the process of getting to know?
  3. What have you learned from your coffees and lunches?
  4. How are you following up with your contacts?
  5. What were challenges you face in your networking efforts?

Networking Baby Steps: May 2016

May is the month to begin gathering information about your network by spending some time face to face with key contacts. Over a coffee or lunch, there is much to learn about your contacts and with a ‘relationships matters mindset’, many opportunities to position yourself as a trusted advisor. Of course, the most important step involved in a lunch date is to record what you discover!

Networking Baby Steps: Week of 4-25

If you missed the 4-18 webinar: here’s a Replay of Strategic Dining Webinar

Networking Baby Step: Week of 4-18

“There is no better venue [than a restaurant] to nurture your important contacts and connections.”

-Deborah Goldstein, Forbes

This week’s assignment is easily executed in 3 simple steps! On Monday, April 18th, you’ll pick up the tips and tools to smartly host a business lunch or coffee date. Simple and timely, for sure! DRIVEN is excited about this new approach to cultivating your network relationships.

Here are the three steps to take this week, in your continuing efforts towards building your network and your business development opportunities:

  1. Register for the webinar. The confirmation of registration will provide an individualized link for you to use AT NOON on April 18th.
  2. Attend the Strategic Dining℠ Webinar by linking and signing on at 11:55am. Get ready for a stimulating hour of learning and entertainment.
  3. Reach out to one person on your Key Contacts List. (Just like week two’s assignment)

If you haven’t yet started with the weekly assignments, THIS is the week to hop on the wagon. And, if you’re having difficulty accessing the Grant Thornton resources page on DRIVENpros.com, please reply to this email and we’ll assist you pronto!

Networking Baby Step: Week of 4-11

“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give”

Winston Churchill

What can we give to our key connections? The first thing is our attention – to really listen and learn about what they need and want and hope for – both personally and professionally. And then we can take action – provide support, knowledge, guidance, experiences, introductions … the possibilities are endless!

This week’s assignment is to reach out to a colleague you consider a potential key connection and ask them out for lunch or coffee. A key characteristic of a key connection is they’re like minded in their ‘relationship’s matters mentality’.

Suggest dates that could work during the week of 4-25. Once you secure the date and time for your meeting, tell them you’ll work out the details closer to the date. (great ready for some powerful tips at the 4-18 lunch & learn webinar regarding venue and logistics planning)

After your colleague has accepted the invitation, take a few minutes to consider what you know about them (reference the CMS you created during your first assignment). What would you like to know about them? Think about how you may be able to help them now. Jot some notes about your hopes and goals for the lunch | coffee in the ‘notes repository’ created during week 1.

Next week’s assignment is to attend Monday’s (4-18) lunch and learn webinar. You’ll acquire valuable tips to host a business meal…and you’ll be ready to start to nurture your network! Take a moment NOW to register for the webinar. The confirmation of registration will provide an individualized link for you to use on 4-18.

Take a moment to give yourself an ‘at-a girl’. You’re on your way to creating a network that is both pleasurable and valuable.

Networking Baby Step: Week of 4-4

The Relationships Matter Mindset

Last week you set up your network recording system. Now it’s time to begin to reach out to your network, and provide some value.

At this phase of your networking, your goal is to keep key contacts at top of mind, and begin to train your ‘relationships matter mindset’ muscle. Check out the Network Progression Chart that you’ve created for perspective, and reach out to a college contact, someone in your business network, or a GT colleague to provide a ‘value add’ for them.

Be creative, and have some fun with it. As you build this ‘relationships matter mindset’ muscle, you will begin to make more natural mental connections.

The goal in the outreach is to actively provide value to your like-minded contacts. This does not mean every week with the same contact, but if you’ve identified a key ally, you may want to reach out monthly. Start keeping that colleague at top of mind.

Maintain your business development history vein:

After you make the connections, record the outreach in the GT CMS notes section. Please be sure to record the names of the people you’ve involved. We’ll be tracking your progress and creating adaptations to your network plan by names.

 

Networking Baby Step: Week of 3-28

Create Your Personalized Contact Management System

A key component of building a strong network is keeping track of your network connections. By capturing information as you learn about connection’s backgrounds, hobbies, etc., you’re better able to provide value to these connections. This system of tracking will only be successful if what your record is personally important to you. This is the foundation of authentically developing one-on-one relationships with your network.

Three Simple Steps to Maintain & Leverage a Contact’s History:

1. CREATE A NOTE REPOSITORY: Decide how you want to record a personal history of each network connection. Commit to one system. It has to be YOUR system; it won’t work if you’re copying someone else’s system. Feel free to reach out and use me (deb@drivenpros.com) as a resource or a sounding board to create a system that works authentically for you.

Here are some ideas: 

  • You can use your ‘notes area’ in outlook.
  • You can use your gmail account; go to contacts and there is a ‘notes area’ in edit mode.
  • You can create a folder called “Network Connections” and create a file for each person.
  • You can use a CRM like Contactually.

The goal is to keep a living narration of your network connections. After each interaction with a colleague, add notes, observations and ideas to their ‘history’. I also list my follow up action items right in the notes. Then I cut and paste the follow up into my ‘to do’ list.

2. CREATE AUTHENTIC OPPORTUNITIES TO CONNECT: Decide what’s important for you to know and record about your connections. In the future, these topics will provide the means for you to reach out to them, add value to their personal and/or professional lives and will keep you at top of their mind. What kinds of facts resonate with you? What is interesting and authentic for you to remember about your connections? 

Here are some ideas:

  • High school | college attended
  • Hobbies | passions | birthday
  • Family details; siblings | parents | kids | pets
  • Past jobs | careers
  • Ideal client | referral source

* An important step: Note the connection source – or the originator of the relationship. How’d you meet this person? Was it at a networking event? Was it through a mutual acquaintance? Have you thanked the person adequately? Have you kept the person in the loop as a method of continuing to show your gratitude? Stay tuned for a separate lesson in origination of relationships.

3. ORGANIZE NETWORK COMMONALITIES: Create a spreadsheet with columns where you’ll record commonalities based on your authentic interests, passions, and activities. For example, I have categorized people according to my interests: meditation, food & wine love, parents, CPA’s … check out this snapshot of my spreadsheet. This is a tool we’ll elaborate upon during our second live workshop.

contact grid

 

Workshop #1 Support

Thank you for joining DRIVEN Professionals on 3-21 for our first workshop. This page will serve as our “home base” during the course of the year. See below for review of 3-21 materials.

Links to workshop #1 resources:

  1. Networking Calendar – Your Q2 goals and how we’re going to get there
  2. The Network Progression to Partner at Grant Thornton
  3. If you haven’t taken the assessment, it’s not too late!
  4. Here’s a link to the audio ‘rough cut’ from 3-21-16 workshop.