This column is focused on younger salespeople and those of you who mentor and/or manage them, who may want to pass these thoughts along.
More and more, I have been noticing how well salespeople coming into the business are leveraging their high school and college alumni networks. The reason this activity has picked up is because the alumni associations themselves have become very proactive and sophisticated relative to networking, as well as the emergence of programs like Classmates.com.
Now, the idea is not to abuse these networks . . . they are meant to be social and fun . . . but it is often a great place for young salespeople to begin what is going to be a lifelong mission to build business relationships over time. I also like to tell young people not to just work the Internet, but to try to find committees within the networks where they can participate and get to know fellow alumni on a more intimate level.
Unfortunately, many people graduate and are so anxious to get school behind them and start their new lives that they forget that high school and college are not just one dimensional educational experiences . . . they are living communities that can be very valuable assets throughout the rest of their lives. It’s one of those things that is so obvious, it sometimes gets lost in the transition.
So remember to work that alumni system . . . it is very much a part of what you paid for and deserve!