Christine Clifford Beckwith Interview – Keynote Speaker and Author
Christine Clifford Beckwith, CSP, is an award-winning author of six books (including You, Inc. The Art of Selling Yourself, Warner Books, March, 2007), an international professional speaker, an industry-leading top salesperson, Partner in Beckwith Partners and CEO/President of The Cancer Club. Christine helps companies with their branding, positioning and sales efforts.
Josh: How do you define Business Networking and why do you feel it is important?
Christine Clifford Beckwith: Business Networking is all about creating partnerships, and it’s important because partnerships drive our businesses. If the people you network with become clients and are thrilled, you’ll get more business. If they aren’t, you will have to go out and find that business.
Josh: Can you share one idea that someone could put into practice that would help them to improve their business networking skills?
Christine Clifford Beckwith: Sometimes it seems impossible to make contact with an executive, celebrity or expert in your field due to their high visibility and their laundry list of responsibilities and commitments. Should you give up on making a connection? Not at all. Rather, start by making a contact with a person who is lower on that individual’s totem pole.
When I began concentrating on my speaking career full-time, one of my first priorities was to get a meeting with Mr. Harvey Mackay, author of Swim With the Sharks Before You Get Eaten Alive and Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty. Why Harvey? He was successful, well connected, knowledgeable, and local. Would he take my call? No.
I contacted friends of mine who knew Harvey and asked them to call, write and email on my behalf. Through those contacts, I made an appointment to meet Harvey’s assistant. He and I hit it off and had several things in common. Before my friends were finished making phone calls, I also had an appointment for breakfast with the President of Harvey’s firm.
Networking my way through Harvey’s web of professional and personal relationships landed me my appointment and several others since.
It never hurts to know the receptionist, secretaries, and administrative personnel who, once they know you by name, can hand you the key to the head office. The disadvantages? It will definitely take longer and may require several appointments with people of lesser importance until you reach your targeted goal.