Assessments, Business Consulting, Sales & Marketing, Retreats, Speaking

Expert in Performance & Profitability

Expert in Performance & Profitability

Assessments, Business Consulting, Sales & Marketing, Retreats, Speaking



P.O. Box 41236
Tucson, AZ 85717
520.795.7556 (FAX)

Contact Sharon


"Sharon is that rare individual - extremely intelligent and multi-talented,"
-- Hussein Kamel, PhD, Computer Structural Analysis, Professor Emeritus, University of Arizona

"I can say we would not have accomplished our goals without your assistance."
-- Chester Teaford, HDR, Inc.,
formerly, V.P., Michael Baker Jr., Inc.




Articles for Entrepreneurs

Networking 101

Networking is not about using people. It's about taking advantage of all available resources to make sure you get remembered - in a positive way.

Many projects today go to firms who have personal connections to managers or other decision makers. Only a small percentage of projects are awarded to unknowns - fewer still to persons without good relationships to the client.

To build relationships you need to be an effective networker.

To be an effective networker...

Keep in touch. You probably have a bigger network than you think -- people you knew in school...coworkers... parents of children's friends...acquaintances at church... etc.

Check in with these people regularly, not just in times of need. Should you find yourself in a weak economy, your network will be in place.

Create "favor banks." Do nice things for people. Always acknowledge the people who encouraged your career.

Send a thank-you note -- or even a gift -- when someone does a favor for you. Let people know that you appreciate them and don't take their efforts for granted.

Make a list of all the people you have helped -- by writing letters of recommendation, for example, or introducing them to decision makers. They owe you a favor -- and probably will be thrilled to come through when you need their help.

Always follow through. Never say that you are going to do something unless you are prepared to do it.  Networking is about building trust as well as relationships.

Let's say you promise an acquaintance that you'll give him/her the names of people who might be right for a particular job. Follow through by passing along the information promptly. Alert the people you've referred. You'll get credit from both sides.

Make new connections. Join professional associations. Volunteer in the community. If you're not chatting with people -- at parties, conferences or business retreats -- you're not building the connections you need.

If you are shy about talking to strangers...

Be prepared with at least three topics of conversation. Sports, politics, music or movies are all good options. So are interesting things that are currently happening in your profession.  The buffet is always easy - chat about the beautiful presentation or how good something looks.

Practice a seven-second lighthearted self-introduction -- a quick way to let people know who you are and encourage conversation.

Example: "I'm Joe Taylor of XYZ Consulting Engineers, and we bring excitement to subdivision design." This prompts the listener to guess or ask what he does.

Approach a person who is standing alone. Your presence will be welcome... and you'll feel less awkward. Once you're relaxed, move around and meet other people.

Exit with charm. To gracefully leave the person with whom you're chatting, shake hands and explain that you don't want to take up too much of his/her time.

Example: "I really enjoyed hearing how similar our businesses are. But I shouldn't monopolize your time. I am sure you want to mix and mingle. It was so nice to meet you."

2009 Sharon A. Youngblood. All rights reserved.




Youngblood Consulting, Inc.
P.O. Box 41236Tucson, AZ 85717







2009 Youngblood Consulting Inc.