• Don’t Dismiss Networking – Instead, Do It Properly

    Your Apple dictionary will be a bit outdated on the subject of networking, as it will list the following top meanings: 1. an arrangement of intersecting horizontal and vertical lines and 2. a group or system of interconnected people or things.

    We all know, in fact, the true meaning of the word “networking” nowadays: Creating a group of acquaintances and associates and keeping it active through regular communication for mutual benefit, would be one meaning. Or the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business, would be another one.

    Basically, networking resonates differently in our minds – as all things do – in direct relation to our experiences around the concept. Browsing the web for the subject will surface loads of articles, guru’s, trend setters, guides, tips and tricks, and, once you read enough of these, you will eventually find yourself in one of two categories of people:

    1. those who resent networking

    2. those who understand networking from it’s core perspective

    The people who reject the word, the concept and, basically, everything related to networking are, usually, those who have received one to many introductory requests based on pure interest. Those who have been assaulted by questions like “Hi, my name is Don. You don’t know me, but could you introduce me to Donald Trump?” Those who can’t stand being used & manipulated, in a perfectly understandable attitude. Allen Gannet, for example, who recently wrote this article for The Next Web.

    On the other side, there are people who consider networking from beyond the “nice-to-meet-you-let-me-take-advantage-of-you” approach and dismiss it like you would throw away a bad apple from a basket full of fruits. These are the people who understand not to use twitter for business, these are the people who understand the importance of becoming an authority figure in an industry, and these are the people who will teach to “pursue the relationship, not the sale“.

    Because, at the end of the day, networking is about trust. 

    Networking helps sales, but it only helps sales if done properly. Of course no one wants to be used and manipulated into referring friends to acquaintances out of the blue. But I’m sure any of us living in the social revolution welcomes connecting people for mutual benefit.

    And it doesn’t matter if you do it face to face, through business cards, or online, through social media platforms.

    As long as you do it properly and you value common sense above everything else, it will pay off.

    In case you missed it, read our Top 10 Networking Resolutions for 2012 and see how many you’ve checked so far.

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  • Taking Network CRM into Web 3.0 and beyond

    Whether you work in media, programming, Wall Street or, for that matter, anywhere else, you might have noticed that our collective ability to create information exceeds our ability to manage it. There are trillions of web pages out there and the number is increasing exponentially, with every new tweet, Facebook status update, blog or concept that gets invented. And even though you might have been blessed with a very structured mind, when becoming aware of this huge amount of information, your brain will immediately perceive it’s huge potential, but it will also be left with no tools to manage it.

    Now. If Web 1.0 was all about desktop computing, pre-networks and limited to e-mail, documents, spreadsheets, images and video, then Web 2.0 took things to the next level, delivering networking through websites and applications (social networks with comments, blogs, youtube and instant interactions). And it’s all fine, up until the point where you start realizing that all these two way interactions and all the user generated content essentially translate into huge amounts of data that first of all needs to be stored and then it needs to be accessed.

    Obviously, there is a parallel to be seen here regarding CRM Systems which have developed according to the Web itself. If at first we had desktop CRM systems to deal with, we can now enjoy the benefits of Cloud systems that are far more engaging and user friendly.

    Sadly, the problems and implications regarding the amount of data and the access to information are practically the same in both cases. And looking ahead at Web 3.0 (happening now), Web 4.0 (in about 4-5 years) and beyond is, of course, the only hope for CRM Systems as well…

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  • Better Social Networking, Better Recruitment

    It was inevitable, really: companies rely more and more on Social Networking for HR purposes.

    OK, LinkedIn was already heavily used by HR departments for the recruitment effort. But now it looks like everyone is becoming aware that LinkedIn is not the only tool that can help companies hire the right people for the right position.

    According to a study by Potentialpark, it seems that LinkedIn is, of course, viewed as the online resource for career-related networking, but companies seem to want to go a step further than relying only on this kind of self-advertising before hiring people. Facebook is gaining weight in the decision making process, “because that’s where most of the visible interaction happens”.

    Aside from the fact that on Facebook people are more open, honest and likely to interact, the findings of the study reveal that our strongest belief is the trend to follow: networking is not only the biggest and most important tool for sales people, social networking is also becoming a must for HR departments if they want to work in high quality recruitment.

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