Expert Advice On Business Networking And Tips On Developing Your Networking Skills

Tatsuya Nakagawa interview – co-founder of Atomica Creative Group

Tatsuya Nakagawa is co-founder of Atomica Creative Group, a specialized strategic product marketing firm. He has assisted Bridgestone, Hitachi and other global companies in their early stage deployments and has been involved in many successful product launches in North America, Europe and Asia in several industries. He has co-authored Overcoming Inventoritis: The Silent Killer of Innovation.

Josh: How do you define Business Networking and why do you feel it is important?

Tatsuya Nakagawa: Business networking is about learning about people and finding opportunities to make a difference in their professional or personal life. This usually involves being proactive and making the first move.

At the end of the day, it’s all about people and the relationships you have with them. When you are successful in adding value to people’s lives then you gain the most important thing in business, their trust.

Josh: Can you share one idea that someone could put into practice that would help them to improve their business networking skills?

Tatsuya Nakagawa: One of the key things I focus on is increasing my capacity for helping people. I do this by creating a list of all the ways I can help people and then I identify some areas I can improve on.

I review the list often and constantly look for opportunities to be of service. The focus is on quality first and then quantity. When connecting two people together I always try to ensure that I make a Perfect Referral.

“Perfect referral. When you talk to both people, get permissions and also confirm the fit before going forward. Followed by a confirmation (maybe by email) and a follow up on how the meeting went and possibly attending the meeting itself. This is what a perfect referral looks like. Your process needs to cover these elements.”

Josh: Can you share some of the ways you use the internet for business networking?

Tatsuya Nakagawa: I am an avid user of LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon and primarily use these tools to learn about people.

You will be surprised at what you can learn by looking at someone’s profile or looking at what tools they use. For instance, a person that wants to connect will tend to disclose more about themselves and leave various contacts information on their profile. You can tell what their priorities are by how much they write about their job or business or how open there are to discussing hobbies or personal life.

Josh: Can you share a personal “networking” success story with us?

Tatsuya Nakagawa: I was an early adopter of online networking tools, so a colleague of mine invited me to speak at a few local business groups. After my initial talk, I realized that the best way to grow my business network was to give talks how to build an effective online network and then connect with everyone that attended my speech.

Over the next year, with the help of people including Daryl Alford, Donna Willon and Robert Sanzalone, I gave 27 speeches on online networking and connected with thousands people. This led to various opportunities such as new clients, board positions, media plugs and successful alliances.

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