Samantha Kelen on Networking [Podcast]

By Adam Turteltaub

When many people think about networking, they think of a bunch of people sharing business cards.  That’s a start, but successful networking is much more than that.

Samantha Kelen, Lead Ethics Analyst at Duke Energy, knows that getting a business card is only a first step.  As she explains in this Compliance Perspectives podcast, you have to follow up with the person, preferably on a regular basis, and not just for a job.  Ongoing interaction is what turns a contact into a relationship.

But how do you make that first contact, especially at a conference?  She recommends going in with a plan.  Identify which presenters you want to meet, attend their sessions, and then stay afterward to talk.  Most will be more than happy to meet you.

Also, plan on connecting with people you know online through LinkedIn.  Just make sure your picture is current.  She once changed her hair color and it no longer matched her LinkedIn photo, making it harder for people to recognize her.

At the same time, don’t be afraid to talk to strangers. For people you don’t know, have a networking “pick up line” ready to start the conversation.

Listen in to learn more, and then start planning on how you’ll expand your network.