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As my fifth anniversary as Rizco’s director of business development approaches, I’ve been reflecting on how important my network of people has been in my life and my career.

Specifically, I’ve been reminiscing about the power and value of maintaining communication and relationships with so many of the people who have touched my life over my 30 years in sales. While one might believe that social media and email are at the forefront of the sales process, and all salespeople are good at harnessing the power of their network, I’m certain that this is not the case.

Jill Networking People of Value

Whether your roles and responsibilities are labeled formally as “sales” or not, the truth is that every person within an organization can drive the new business process which can secure your job at a higher level – just by staying connected to people personally. I’d suggest taking a few minutes to do a “professional connections inventory.”

  • How often do you reach out to people from your past who have no current role in your business/industry or your professional success?
  • Do you think of them as someone who is still of value to your life?
  • Do you ever send them a note, a text, or reach out to them via a social network to stay connected?
  • Do you offer to help them when they are between jobs?

While I might be a bit philosophical, I firmly believe that every person plays a role in our journey. The connections made in high school, at your children’s sporting events, a previous job, trade show, or networking event, can all carry equal weight. They might become a future client or employer of a friend who is looking for a job. Or maybe they are simply a referral to someone you’d like to meet who is connected to one of your contacts. Or possibly, they are the person who gives you the inside scoop on something that puts you right where you need to be for your next big opportunity. If we treat all of our connections as “people of value,” it doesn’t matter what the need is. Reaching out to request assistance becomes a comfortable ask and is invariably well received because it’s not disingenuous.

“I’m humbled and proud to say that developing true relationships and practicing this mindset has served my community of connections and me personally very well, especially during my time at Rizco. I’m truly thankful to have many of these individuals as current clients today, even after years of not working together.”

Admittedly though, my most fulfilling results have been the internships and jobs filled through my network of connections. And those relationships … well, they don’t require any further explanation.