The 10 Commandments of Networking from Jane Foster (My last installment in MBN Symposium Series)

This blog entry is part of my series called "The 2011 MBN Symposium". To read other posts in this topic and gain more valuable insight into the presenters at the 2011 Symposium, see the series here: Missoula Businesswomen's Symposium
I had no idea what I was in for when I found my seat in Jane Foster’s presentation at the MBN Symposium! Suddenly, there was chocolate flying everywhere and we were all laughing our heads off! It was truly a fun meeting and I was so happy about the topic discussed. Jane Foster of Stevensville’s Foster and Foster Financial describes the act of making a personal connection a “lost art”. In her presentation, she explained that we need one-on-one contact to develop business relationships to the fullest, and she imparted some tactics to succeed in this age of technology and depersonalization. Jane stresses the importance of following up, and even suggests a handwritten note or phone call. Refreshing, huh?

Most of all, I'd like to share her 10 Commandments of Networking, which I found to be particularly great advice. It reads like an action plan, and sometimes I think that’s just what we need, to be inspired to take action instead of just simmering on broad ideas. Don't you think? Here they are:

  1. Make a “Must Meet” list of people and find out where you can meet them. If you can find an organization to help you meet those goals, choose the one with the best bang for your buck.
  2. Once you choose the group or event to meet those people, bring your best smile, attitude, impression, business cards and a great handshake. -- In class, we did an exercise on the proper handshake, if you weren’t there for that, look for a handshake tutorial coming out soon on my blog!
  3. Gravitate to people you don’t know. Remember: Women move as a pack.
  4. Be early and have consistent attendance.  If you’ve paid to be a member of the organization, then make your dollars work harder by meeting more people! The only one who can make that choice is you.
  5. Remember personal space. (18 to 24 inches) -- We did another exercise here where we had to get right up in our neighbor’s faces!! Oh well, at least there was candy on our breaths!
  6. Know who you are and know who you are talking with, and act accordingly. Using the DISC method can help with this. If you are provided a nametag, always wear it!
  7. Listen, with your ears, you eyes, and your body!
  8. Ask thought provoking other-oriented, open-ended questions. They don’t care about what you know unless you show that you care about what they know! When you create value for others, you create value for yourself.
  9. Be present and engaged. Put all your little “tools” away- the smartphone, the laptop, put it away! On smart comment is more memorable than small talk!
  10. Be DISTINCTIVE! You want to be memorable, but in a good way! Make sure you have a way to help you remember the people you meet. Ask for everyone’s card, make notes on the back of them, do whatever you have to do.

An important topic from this meeting was “DISC method”  from the book, Breakthrough Networking: Building Relationships That Last (Third Edition) It divides us into 4 different networking types and is a powerful tool in understanding yourself and others to make networking work for you! I may discuss this further in another blog post, so if you’d like to hear more on that, just comment to let me know.

I've got to say, if you weren't at the MBN Symposium, you really missed out on this one! With all the candy and laughs, the endorphins ran high and made it a very memorable experience. You can learn more about Jane and her business here at Foster & Foster Financial Services. Jane is a member of the Stevensville Main Street Association, Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce, IDEA Mt, and Missoula Businesswomen's Network, where she serves as Chair for the Women's Empowerment Group in the Bitterroot Valley.

Well, this is it! I have completed my series on the Missoula Businesswoman’s Network Symposium for 2011. I hope it was helpful for you, and I encourage my readers to review past installments in my MBN Symposium Series to make sure you didn’t miss anything!

This blog entry is part of my series called "The 2011 MBN Symposium". To read other posts in this topic and gain more valuable insight into the presenters at the 2011 Symposium, see the series here: Missoula Businesswomen's Symposium


  1. A handshake is so important! I am one of the many people who judge people by their handshake. A good handshake means the person is confident and probably more interesting, and easy to talk to than someone who is shy and doesn't have enough confidence to throw their hand out.

    Here's a quote from The Answer Man with Jeff Daniels that I love: "You wanna know something cool about shaking hands with little people? They see us shaking hands but they don't know that we squeeze the other person's hand so they - y'know - they just hold hands with you for a couple of seconds."

    I am interested to hear about the DISC method. Love your blog. Thanks!

  2. Hi Samira! I couldn't agree more, handshakes are so important! And that is a really fun quote, it made me smile. :) I am your newest blog follower, and I'll add your blog to my Missoula Etsians list.

    Thank you for reading and for requesting more on the DISC method. I am thinking I will post more on that in the coming weeks.


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