Transcript – Episode 11

Dennis Zink:    Welcome to ‘Been There, Done That!, a podcast series produced by SCORE. SCORE has 352 chapters and 12,000 counseling mentors across the United States. You can reach SCORE by calling 800-634-0245 or by going to our website at ‘’ where you can request a mentor.

SCORE is a resource partner of the Small Business Administration. Our goal is simply to help your business become more successful. We accomplish this by utilizing the knowledge base and expertise accumulated by our volunteer mentors as they truly have Been There, Done That. I’m Dennis Zink, and I’ll be your host throughout the series, so sit back, relax and learn how to improve your business.

Episode number 11, ‘Networking’. Fred Dunayer joins me today in our studio as co-host, SCORE mentor and our audio engineer. Good morning, Fred.

Fred Dunayer: Good morning, Dennis.

Dennis Zink:    Our guest today is Sara Hand with Spark Growth. Welcome to ‘Been There, Done That!’, Sara.

Sara Hand:      Thank you, Dennis.

Dennis Zink:    As co-founder of Spark Growth, Sara Hand facilitates collaborative efforts between community based initiatives and traditional organizations all across Florida. Among Sara’s trainings are leveraging unique valued propositions and the ability to create synergistic partnerships among connections. This enables Sara to be a uniquely valuable visionary leader. Sara is known as a person who consistently gets things done and does them well. Her current venture and success is based on the extensive network of connections which she has developed through networking.

On a personal note, I have known Sara for over a year and consider her to be among the best networked individuals whom I have ever met. Sara, welcome again to ‘Been There, Done That!’.

Sara Hand:      Thank you.

Dennis Zink:    The definition of networking as I looked up this morning in Webster’s was the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups [00:02:00] or institutions, specifically the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.

Sara, I’m going to ask you, what do you think about networking and what is it to you?

Sara Hand:      I think, Dennis that an important concept there is productive relationships. When I talk to people about networking, I refer to maybe their cell phone or their cable network, and we know what that’s like when it goes down, then you see a bunch of people all frustrated, trying to figure out how they’re going to work. For a lot of people, that’s what their personal networking is like. It’s like an attempt to use something that doesn’t work. I think the key there in that definition is productive relationships, things that work.

Dennis Zink:    Okay. Why should someone network?

Sara Hand:      Networking is about increased resources, about connecting to sources of energy, sources of information … I think the exciting thing about the world that we live in today is, having been a research student, somebody who spend hours in the library. When I did that, we used microfiche and card catalogs. The exciting thing about today is that we have this thing called ‘Google’ or ‘Bing’, and you can find just about anything that you want. When you are well connected and you’ve made relevant relationships with people that are productive in business, you have access to resources that can take you forward in a way that Google takes people forward from those old research habits of microfiche and card catalogs.

Dennis Zink:    So interesting you mentioned microfiche, for our younger listeners that is not small fish. You may want to mention that. Is networking really effective or how effective can networking really be?

Sara Hand:      I think for a lot of people, networking is not effective at all. I think one of the most aggravating statements that I hear people say is, “I’m just here to build relationships.” I [00:04:00] personally have great relationships with my family, I have some wonderful friends, I have two lovely daughters at home, and so my life is really busy.

My goal in going out to network is not to just build relationships. My goal is to build relationships with other people that have similarly aligned interest that want to make a difference in their community, that want to grow their business … I’m looking for people that have purpose. Some of those people have become incredible, incredible friends over the last couple of years.

Now, I didn’t go out looking for friends, I went out looking for a specific type of person with an aligned interest and they became friends. I think that for the people that are just running around from event to event, they haven’t really qualified what it is that they’re looking for. For a lot of people that are doing that, it’s kind of like busy work and they don’t develop those productive connections that we talked about at first, so for them, it might be a waste of time.

For me, I found that networking has been one of the most important things that I do. I’ve also had to be very focused in where I choose to network. I’m not going to an event looking to just get a business card from everybody there. It was interesting when I walked in today and saw Fred. I was able to say, “I met you before,” and be able to remember where I met him, when I met him, what we were talking about, and how that relationship came about even though I haven’t seen him in a number of years. That’s because I identified what he did that was important, how that might be the same or different to what I do, and how that might connect to what I do and be a resource for people that I know.

For me, networking is effective because I’m looking for those stories, I’m looking for valuable relationships. I’m not looking [00:06:00] to just get a whole bunch of cards.

Dennis Zink:    Yes. Fred is very memorable so it’s easy to remember this handsome guy sitting next to me here. What would you consider networking with a purpose?

Sara Hand:      It’s really understanding what your goals are. If you know what your unique value proposition is as a business, and you know who you best serve, then I’m looking for prospects, but I know that everybody is not my prospect, so that’s okay. I’m looking for people that could be referral partners or strategic partners. I’m looking for centers of influence, people that understand the value of networking. I’m looking for several different things.

When I go to an event, if I make three to five really great connections, that’s it. Anything above that three to five is extra, so I’m not trying to meet everybody. I want to get enough information about the person that I meet, that they’re not just a business card. I want to have a face and a story to go with that person because if I can’t remember who they are and how they’re valuable, and how … If I don’t have a context for who they are, then that card means nothing.

Dennis Zink:    That’s interesting you mentioned center of influence, and I met you at BarCamp which is kind of IT networking if you will for IT people and non-IT people. That’s something that you started, so you actually are a center of influence let alone wanting to meet centers of influence. I wonder if you’d comment on that.

Sara Hand:      I think what’s interesting, I have this talk that I do call ‘Building Community Around Your Business’. In the biography, the little bio that we gave you, that piece about Spark Growth and what we’re doing now has grown out of the networking efforts that we’ve made over the last six or seven years. That’s what happened with BarCamp.

If you go back to 2009, I made a [00:08:00] few phone calls, we had eight people at a lunch, and people had conversations of, “What do we need in community in our area?”, and so the next month we met. In the next month we met. Then somebody said, “Hey. I can’t make it at lunch. Can we have an afterhours?” That was networking at its purest form, people just having conversations, getting to know one another, identifying how they could make a difference in their community … From that, we’ve grown the largest business and technology community in the State of Florida. Those connections because I purposed to have real relationships with people, to know the context of who they are has given us the ability to do the economic development and entrepreneur growth activities that we’re doing with Spark Growth. It’s really all kind of come out of this whole philosophy in networking.

Dennis Zink:    How many members do you currently have in BarCamp approximately, roughly?

Sara Hand:      I don’t even know. I can’t even guess because we have hundreds and hundreds of members across multiples of social platforms. There’s no membership fee so people can connect as they want. I’m not really sure all the platforms that we’re on because when the person who handles our social media sends me the spreadsheet with the URLs, it gets longer each time.

Out of the ones that I predominantly interact with, we probably got four or 5,000 people.

Dennis Zink:    Wow. That’s incredible. That’s just in what? How many years was that?

Sara Hand:      It’s six years. I think what’s cool about that is prior to 2007, the end of 2006, 2007, I never really networked locally. I mean I knew people from church, I knew friends … The joke was, “Ask Sara. She has a friend,” but I never networked for business. My business was either more leads that came in to that business or when I worked in Disaster Mitigation and Recovery, [00:10:00] I worked with people in municipalities and government agencies all over the country and in some other countries, and so I didn’t go out to events to meet them.

What we’ve done in Florida is really been in the last six or seven years. I think if you understand networking and networking with purpose, you can do just about anything.

Dennis Zink:    When I went to BarCamp, I remember you were cutting a cake for someone’s birthday. I asked … “I’m with SCORE. I’d like to meet people. I’m new to the area,” and they said, “You want to meet Sara?” Then they introduced me to you and she’s the one cutting the cake. You were busy but I said hello real quick and then we followed up and get together after that. It’s kind of interesting story.

How many people do I need to know as a networker? I mean, is there a number you put on it or a quality? How do you figure that?

Sara Hand:      I guess it really depends on how well you know people and how well you stay connected. There’s numbers, there’s been research done and people talk about that 200 people in a network and what that does in connecting. I think in today’s world with online platforms, the numbers that we had probably 10 years ago are maybe not as relevant.

I know in the real estate arena, that the difference between a average performer and a high performer is a difference between 500 people on Facebook and a thousand people on Facebook. The numbers, because we have these things called ‘Loose connections’ now, not just people that we sit down and have coffee with, I think the number of people that you know can be significantly greater, but we don’t have to manage those connections quite the same way.

Dennis Zink:    You mentioned some of the social media. I know that you have that 500 plus number at the end of your LinkedIn profile. I’m in the 400s right now so I’m working my way up. [00:12:00] That number if you really look at it is so large when you look at the secondary and tertiary connections that you probably know millions of people and you’re probably close to Kevin Bacon by now.

Sara Hand:      Actually, I went to an event probably, maybe six or seven years ago. There’s an entertainment event, it was at the Orlando Civic Center, and it’s for IAPPA, The International Amusement Park Presentation. I remember saying that somebody is saying that everybody is within four spears of influence from somebody who works in rice patties in Asia. It’s very interesting I was standing there and somebody came by our booth, and he had a themed restaurant and his wife was from Thailand. We actually went and they had these beautiful wheels from the wagons that pull rice patties and I was like, “Wow. I’m closer than four.”

I think it’s on LinkedIn now. I think this morning I’m at like 3300, 3400 and so the number of people connected through that is somewhere around like 20,000 or something like that.

Dennis Zink:    I’m sure it’s way larger than that. I was told on LinkedIn from someone who knew all about how LinkedIn works that when you meet somebody, it really does pay to accept them as a link because you get the advantage of all of their relationships, all of their connections. It just makes sense to no matter who it is, because I used to think … I had 57 when I first came to town a year ago and I’m thinking, “I don’t know if I really want to link that person in, so I’m not going to do it,” and then I heard this great speech, but 3300 or whatever, that’s impressive.

Anyway, how many people do I need to know? I mean, how many people should I try to meet I guess is what I’m saying?

Sara Hand:      I think when you go to a networking event, [00:14:00] if you aimed for any more than three to five, you’ll simply come away with business cards. If you don’t know who the person is and what makes them uniquely valuable and how that’s the same and different from you, if you don’t have a story about who they are, then you’re wasting your time.

A lot of people have boxes of business cards or bags of business cards. There’s a lot of people who try to get a bunch of business cards and they scan them in. I do have my … My business cards are all entered into CSV files which then I can upload into various places, but I still keep the hard copies which means that if I’ve known you for any length of time, I may have multiple cards that belonged to you and I file them all in one slot. It gives me a way to keep track of people and to really work on remembering who people are because if I don’t remember who you are, then it really doesn’t matter.

In the essence of pursuing connections at individual events, three to five people, and if you know a hundred people and you have great relationships with the hundred people, I think that’s much better than having 30,000 followers on Twitter that you don’t know, that you don’t have any relationship with, and you’re just pushing a lot of content out at them but with no relationship. The secret is all relationship.

Dennis Zink:    There’s quality over quantity.

Sara Hand:      Yes.

Dennis Zink:    I would certainly agree with that. What do you think of a business lead exchange groups where they do exchange cards? Do you see a value in that?

Sara Hand:      I think it depends on the group. There are some business leads groups where people have to understand the difference between a lead, a referral and an endorsement. A lead is, “Hey, Dennis. I think this might make sense. I have so and so. I saw this,” and I give you that information, you follow up on it, I haven’t prequalified [00:16:00] that for you. I just think that maybe this might make sense for you based on whatever my criteria is.

A referral is a little bit … It’s something that’s been prequalified. I understand more about this. It’s not a sign that I saw or something that I heard. I actually have some more information on let’s say, “Dennis, I was talking to my friend so and so and they said this.” I said, “Oh boy. You need to talk to my friend Dennis.” There’s that referral there. There’s that connection, a little bit more understanding. Then an endorsement is this piece of where I say, “Oh my gosh. You need to meet my friend, Dennis. This is why I like Dennis. This is what he did when he came to speak at my event. You know, I’ve written an endorsement for you.” I think most people don’t understand the difference.

If you go to an event, a leads group where people are just handing leads and they’re all about the number of leads that they can give and they’re not trying to qualify those at all, time is short. Just because I can doesn’t mean I should. I’m not looking for another hundred leads. I’m looking for things that are referrals, that are endorsements so I can lead through the information. I think that’s key in networking because we have lots and lots of information, but there’s a difference between information and insight and how we approach problems, and I believe there’s a difference between leads and referrals and endorsements and where I’m going to spend my time. It really depends on how the group views what they’re doing because you can have a group that gives great leads, and then you can have a group that’s simply meeting their quota.

Dennis Zink:    I guess it depends what their product or service is too. Also, I should follow your advice, “Just because I can, doesn’t mean I should.” I played tennis last night and I didn’t listen to that advice and I should have. [00:18:00]

Where should I go? I mean, what places … Where are good places to go to meet people depending upon what type of business or service I have?

Sara Hand:      I think not only … What’s really exciting is not only do you have business groups, there are there BNIs and a whole lot of different types of lead groups. There’s a lot of community initiatives that I think people miss. They think that … A lot of times, people are so focused on their leads groups, their BNIs, their chamber events … Those types of events that they missed the community initiatives like the one that we’ve run with BarCamp, Sarasota-Bradenton. [00:18:38] SCORE puts on some great events, and so that’s not necessarily a networking event per say, but there’s great networking there because depending on what the topic is, you have people in a room that have similar interests.

I think when you’re looking for networking, you want to look for places where the types of people that you want hangout, people that have similar interests or people that have the same interest or the same characteristics that your prospect has, you may look at groups that are focused more around business, but there’s a whole thing about social entrepreneurship too. You can pick something that is, maybe you’re interested in missions, maybe you’re interested I making a difference for women or children or families. Pick something that you care about, get involved there and then you have the opportunity to make great relationships with people that have similarly aligned interests. It goes back to what we talked about in the beginning. I’m looking for people that want to make a difference, that are productive, not just looking for relationships, but a relationship with some purpose behind it.

Fred Dunayer: First of all, I want to thank you for illuminating every mistake I made, doing networking [00:20:00] from when I started my business about five years ago. One of the mistakes I think I made was to go to a lot of different organizations, and people said, “You try them all and then you see which ones you’d like,” and I’m a little obtuse, and it takes me a while to figure out where I want to be and where I don’t. Is there some rule of thumb that you use in terms of going to a meeting and how many sessions you’ll go to before you realize that perhaps this meeting is not for you, you’re not going to meet the kind of people that you expect?

Sara Hand:      There is ‘Time is a factor’. I believe that there’s a … We created this diagram for working with our clients. In that, it talks about three finite resources, time, energy and attention. Then as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, you have four things that you want to do. You want to maximize results, optimize cash flow, stay flexible and be able to build a team because there are no lone rangers in successful ventures.

When I look at networking, I look at, “What’s the group’s mission? What types of people are going to be there?” I look at “How much time does it take?” “How much is the membership?” “Do I have to become a member to even be able to go?” I want to look at the dynamics. “Does everybody …” Because even though you might have a similar chapters, if it’s that type of a group, each group has an individual dynamic and it’s taken off of the leaders that are there.

I’m going to go at least once if it fits the other criteria, if it meets those things on what type of people I’m looking to meet or maybe a common mission, and I’m going to go the first time, I’m going to look “How is it organized?” “Do people interact or do they go into these little clusters?” One of my pet peeves is people say, “I’m here at this networking lunch.” You look at the table [00:22:00] and there’s five people from their company all sitting together. I’m like, “That’s not networking. That’s a company sponsored lunch.” They didn’t meet anybody new. They simply all came together, had lunch and was on the company tab. I know some people don’t like it when I say that, but that’s the truth. The goal in networking is to make connections. If I don’t make connections, then I’m not networking.

Now, if it’s a case of a company sponsored lunch, that may be to deepen relationships or strengthen relationships that I already have, but it’s not the same thing. I have to know, “Why am I going to that event?” Those things cost time, how much involvement it takes … Some organizations, the only way you’re going to get any ability to standout or be able to meet people is you’re going to have to be on two or three committees. It depends how much time you have and can invest in that organization, and if there’s a great quality of person there and people are really proactive and all those things align with your interest, then go for it.

Don’t show up week after week after week. Nobody refers you business. You simply … There’s some things that are like coffee klatch. It’s just people going together having coffee and nobody really does anything. For somebody who’s that type of person who’s really just looking for the social benefit, that’s great, but I know for Dennis. Dennis is a get it done person so I think for he and I, if we went to that type of an event with people that showed up week after week and talked about a lot of things and didn’t do much, we’d probably be really frustrated, so for us, maybe one time.

Fred Dunayer: Is there a rule of thumb about how much time you spend with people you’ve already met to deepen the relationship versus how much time at one of these sessions or one of these meetings you would spend trying to meet new people?

Sara Hand:      If I can do this networking wise, anybody can because [00:24:00] if you were to look at my Briggs Myers or that, I am not an extravert. I too have those days where I’ve committed to go to some sort of event and really I just want to talk to the people I know. I’ve spent the whole day talking to people, doing different things and sometimes, I will allow myself to do that, and that’s okay.

Then there’s other events that I go to where I specifically said, “I’d like to meet somebody new. This is a new area. We’re learning more about that,” and then really my goal is how long that conversation takes is depending on how long does it take for me to have an understanding of what makes them uniquely valuable.

Sometimes, I get that part of the story and that in a matter of a minute or so, sometimes it takes a little longer. My goal is to come away with something that I have that connects to that card so that you are not just a piece of paper with some numbers on it.

Dennis Zink:    What do you do in the circumstance where you get in front of somebody and they just are talking your ear off, and you just can’t get away from them and you spend enough time with them, and you go, “Okay.” You know them, you want to move on, you’re not there to spend your whole night with this one person … What do you do?

Sara Hand:      Okay. Not everybody might like this, but there’s a technical term called a ‘Hand off’. Okay. I hope nobody listening to this has had me do that, but that you graciously introduce them to somebody else, and if you have to excuse yourself to go to the restroom, that’s kind of the last result, or you ask them, “Who would you like to meet while you’re here? Do you know everybody?” and then you graciously take them by the hand and introduce them to somebody else, because a lot of … Actually the truth is, there are some [00:26:00] people that will just talk your ear off, but most of the time, somebody is just doing that is because they are scared to death and you are safe.

Sometimes, it’s me helping them out to introduce them to somebody else, and then there are a few people that don’t have the social clue piece, but otherwise it’s really helping somebody out and then we all win.

Dennis Zink:    What are some of your favorite … Give me at least one, of your success stories about networking. Maybe where you put two people together and something great came out of it or just whatever you think is a wonderful story.

Sara Hand:      Oh gosh. Besides you? I think it was interesting, I did meet Dennis at an event, and we did decide to follow up. Then for various reasons, he had some things that happened in his life and he was unavailable. We got together for breakfast, and we’re talking about what he wants to do. He’s fairly new here and I’m making a list of people that I think he should talk to, and one of them walks in the restaurant.

I’m like, “Oh my gosh.” We go over. I introduced Dennis and I believe that you actually were involved and had worked on a project for that person.

Dennis Zink:    Yes, to some extent.

Sara Hand:      To me, that’s kind of exciting, but where my life is right now is this happens all the time. When you get to a certain level of knowing people … We’re working on a project with Suzette Jones who is facilitating something called ‘BIG’, Bright Ideas on the Gulf Coast. Suzette has been traveling around the State of Florida, meeting with people. When I first met her in person, she said, “I have been here, here, here and here and everybody said I need to meet you.”

You get to a point when you [00:28:00] get to meet people that are centers of influence where those centers of influence know one another, and so then it gets really exciting because putting together projects, building real relationships and getting things done is a whole different level than, “I’m just here to build relationships and get a couple of business cards.”

Dennis Zink:    At SCORE, one of the things, one of our new initiatives is to put a list of names together which we’ve done, of groups that we should be calling on, if we’re not currently calling on them. We started with Suzette Jones’ BIG list, and we’ve had our PR person working the list. What we did is we sent it out to our community outreach team and we’re going to overlay our existing contacts with that list and then assign, kind of divide it up and say, “Okay. These are the groups that we’ve highlighted, that we should be calling on, and then we’ll start calling on them.”

It’s funny you mentioned BIG, but I think they’re doing a great job. Anyway, give me some other suggestions for meeting people.

Sara Hand:      In person, I talked about the community initiatives, going to church, getting involved in Easter Seals, going to the gym, volunteering to teach a class. There’s getting outside your comfort zone and saying hello to people in the elevator. Like I’m saying, if I can do this, I’m naturally an introvert, but I love people.

What’s nice about networking is you don’t have to approach it as a hundred people in a room. That’s why the three to five cards is so easy is because I’m really only looking for three to five individuals. Really, as long as there are people around, you can talk to anybody. You’re at the beach and somebody’s kid is building a great sand castle and the mom is there and you say, “Yes. I might.”

I remember [00:30:00] when my kids built sand castles or you’re looking for what’s the same and what’s different. If it’s a human being and you can find something the same and something that’s different, you never know what kind of surprise you’re going to find.

Dennis Zink:    Talk a little bit about if you would, online and offline networking and what opportunities exist there?

Sara Hand:      It’s interesting we’re talking about LinkedIn. I think I got on LinkedIn in 2007. The way that happened is I was in Las Vegas with a friend of mine, and we were in a large group of people sitting around after a speaker’s event and one of the gentlemen there is a Vice President of marketing and development for a technology company. He said, “I went to add you on LinkedIn and you’re not there.” My friend, who’s the former CEO of Home Shopping Financial turns to me and said, “You’re not on LinkedIn?” I said, “Come on. I mean it’s on my list. There’s all kinds of things. Why this?”

He said to me, “Facebook is my photo album, LinkedIn is my rolodex.” A lot of people are hesitant about LinkedIn. I think, just as there was a time where if you didn’t have a website … People look for that. If you don’t have a website, they don’t even take you seriously. Now, there’s probably exceptions to that so nobody gets offended. The truth is, is people don’t look up phonebooks. They go online and they Google it or Bing it or whatever it is they search, and they’re looking for at least a minimal brochure type website.

Now, in today’s world, people are looking at you as a professional, and if you don’t have a profile on LinkedIn, they really look at you like, “Wow. Are they really serious?” I think [00:32:00] LinkedIn is really important. There’s probably going to be something else that comes along eventually that will replace it, but as for right now, LinkedIn is hugely relevant and it’s a great place to really … You’re not  going to get the same kind of connections that you have in Facebook. I don’t accept all the connections on Facebook that people … because some people are just going through like you might know. I think I have 1500 or whatever. I know people that are very aggressive in Facebook. I’m not.

With LinkedIn, I do accept some people that I don’t know only because we run huge communities. If you are in an area that I speak in a regular basis and you’re in IT, if you’re in funding, if you’re in education and you’re in a leadership position and you’re connected to me through a group, then I may accept that request. I think LinkedIn is hugely relevant and even if you don’t message a lot through it, but it’s still important to have your credentials up there.

The cool thing about social networking and I’ll go back to Facebook is that this whole concept of loose connections. I used to do a … I was an A-List blogger for an online network. It was funny how I … There’s another blogger. I hadn’t met her, but we saw each other’s content, we connected on Facebook. Periodically, when I went through my feed, I’d see something and we begin to have this connection, so I saw this, she saw this about me and we were building … We’d comment on this and because we were running in the same circle. It was interesting that when we met in person, it was like, “I’m so glad I get to meet you for the first time.” We’d actually [00:34:00] built a relationship online.

There’s this benefit of social networking. It also lets you … If you have huge networks like I do, it allows me to have some sort of connection. Now, I don’t play with social media. Meaning, don’t send me a ‘Candy Crush’ or a ‘Farmville’ or … I don’t do any of that. Periodically, I get to go through and I look for the people that I know and just see what they’re doing. “So and so just had a child” or “My friend, Jamie went to Carlo’s bakery in Hoboken.” I’ve only met Jamie a couple of times in person, like less than 10. In the last three years, we’ve interacted quite a bit on Facebook, and so she knows a lot of things about me, I know a lot of things about her and we talk about getting together for coffee, but we haven’t yet.

She’ll send me a referral. I may send her a referral, and I think that’s interesting. I do have a story. I met this lady in 2005 at an event. We talked a couple of times on the phone. We sent each other business. I didn’t see her again until last year in 2012, but we had sent each other numerous types of referrals, types of projects, and when I saw her, I was actually doing some consulting work with her company because she had referred them to me. I think that’s one of the values of online platforms. You have to decide where you want to put your profile.

Like I said, I don’t play so I’m not doing Farmville and that. I’m looking for a place where I post motivational things. I try to be somewhat transparent, but I also don’t share [00:36:00] junk.

Fred Dunayer: Is there anything that we didn’t cover that’s burning a hole in your head waiting to get out?

Sara Hand:      I think the big thing is know why you’re doing it. It’s like that when I first went online, I remember some of the platforms I got onto, I was pushed. Considering I’ve been on Facebook since 2006, I’m still pretty close to an early adapter, but I was pushed a little. My password might have been ‘Try this’ or ‘Another one’.

I think in social online networking, just as when I’m going to meet you in person, go some place where you relate and it makes sense to you. Don’t try to be everywhere. That’s why we have somebody who helps us with our social media for BarCamp. Like I said, I can’t even tell you all the platforms we’re on. I don’t know, 20, 30 different platforms. I know where I’m at. I’m comfortable. I don’t try to be everything to everybody. I think a key thing is understanding everybody is not your prospect. You get paid in money or influence, and if you have enough influence which comes from real relationships with real people, you can do just about anything.

Fred Dunayer: You’ve covered a tremendous amount of territory here in this last half hour or so. If there was one or two thoughts that you would want people to walk away from listening to this with, what would they be?

Sara Hand:      To reiterate, I would say be focused. Know what it is that you want to do. Know what it is that you want to accomplish and be real. Take the time to find out what makes somebody special. You don’t have to go to coffee with everybody. You do have to listen. Focus on what somebody is saying and not what it is that you’re going to say next.

Dennis Zink:    Sara, thank you for enlightening us today on networking. Sara Hand can be reached [00:38:00] at ‘’. That’s S-A-R-A at S, hyphen H-A-N-D group dot com.

Thank you, Sara. Thank you for being a guest on ‘Been There, Done That!’.

Sara Hand:      Thanks, Dennis. I enjoyed being here.

Fred Dunayer: You’ve been listening to ‘Been There, Done That!’, a podcast series sponsored by SCORE. The opinions of the hosts and guests are theirs and do not necessarily reflect those of SCORE. If you would like to hear more podcasts or would like information about the services we provide, you can call SCORE at 800-634-0245, or visit our website at ‘’.

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