Hi! This is Al Martella – thank you to Andrea for allowing me to share some thoughts about networking this week.
Professionals often ask me how to effectively network across generations. I admit that it is sometimes challenging to get your best clients to introduce you to their children or grandchildren. Often the meeting happens after the death of the client and it is too late to build a meaningful relationship with the next generation.
I believe we have a great window of opportunity from May to September to make connections with the next generation. Here’s my suggestion:
- Identify existing clients who have children or grandchildren who are graduating from high school, college or graduate school.
- Invite their graduate to a one-on-one session on (fill-in-the-blank).
- If your expertise is financial, the session could be “Financial Literacy for Graduates.”
- If you are self-employed, how about “Entrepreneurial Skills for Graduates.”
- If you are a travel agent, why not offer “Travel for the New Graduate.”
- The session is a way of thanking your client for their relationship and wanting to share your expertise with their recent graduate.
One more suggestion – if appropriate, gift to the graduate a copy of Andrea Nierenberg’s book, Networking for Every College Student and Graduate: Starting Your Career Off Right (2nd Edition), co-authored with Michael Lawrence Faulkner. Some of the topics covered include:
- What is networking?
- Is networking different for students?
- How do you position yourself and your brand?
- How do you create your network?
How I wish that I had this book when I graduated from college instead of having to learn it all through “trial and error.” That’s why I have recommended this book to professionals for over ten years. What a great way to show you care for the well-being of your client’s graduate.
What do you think? Andrea and I would love to hear from you and your thoughts and suggestions.