Thursday, April 14, 2011

Networking tips: Following up with your contacts

Author: Michelle Mudge-Riley, DO, MHA

In my last blog, I discussed approaching your contacts and building the relationship through questions aimed at learning more about your contact and his or her work. Once you learn more about what drives the person you are networking with and get a sense of his or her role at the company or in the industry, here are some questions to pose that will help you better understand the global view of the company/industry. Having answers to these questions will help you in future interactions with people in the same industry or with talking to others in a different industry as you will be able to compare and contrast between the two industries or companies.

1. What is the company online presence? Take a look at recent press releases and/or interviews on websites and in blogs. This can give you insight how the company plans to meet their goals, what challenges they are facing, what problems need to be solved, or roadblocks overcome. It can also help you be very prepared when talking with someone associated with the company and give you someone to “know” within the company.

2. Who are the decision makers? Why are they decision makers? Knowing who you want to target can be extremely valuable information.

3. How is the company responding to outside forces? How is the company planning to respond to health reform? What about the company response to the current economy?

4. What’s coming up on the horizon? What issues are being tackled by the company? What new products, new territories or online strategies are in the works?

Asking these questions will set you up for success because you gain an information advantage. Answers to these questions will also allow you to customize your resume and interview to demonstrate that you’ve solved similar problems the company currently faces.

About the author:

Dr. Mudge-Riley is a senior consultant for brokerage firms, health systems and large employers in wellness and health promotion and President of Physicians Helping Physicians in Richmond, Virginia.  She has spent the past seven years advising and coaching other doctors in their career by counseling physicians on business skills, assisting with compliance and risk management issues and mentoring in personal wellness and balance.  She has worked with hundreds of doctors and in various health systems located throughout the United States. To read more about Dr. Mudge-Riley, click here.

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