We all know this, but what are we doing about it? How are we setting ourselves apart?
There is a great little book out there that I would highly recommend: The Little Black Book of Connections, by Jeffrey Gitomer.
In it, Gitomer gives a play by play analysis of what it takes to be an effective networker and why certain rules stand the test of time. It's not simply going to a networking function and finding out "what's in it for them." Indeed, that may be a good start, but there is so much more to being memorable.
Here are a sample 5 of his 17 rules for effective connecting and networking:
1) Your ability to look someone in the eye is a tell tale sign of your own self respect.
2) The higher up the ladder you go, the more cautious people will be of your advances.
3) Ninety percent of success is showing up prepared.
4) Your present reputation determines your future fate.
5) Staying in touch is more important and more valuable than making the initial connection.
I will say that personally, the last one (#5) is my personal pet peeve. I despise it when people don't follow up. I get it that people are busy. I'm human too. I understand that I might not be a fit. However, ignoring my requests to connect, either initially or further, will only serve to undermine your value in my life, even if you have the BEST THING EVER.
So, take it for what it's worth. With that, enjoy the remainder of the day and go out and read this book. It's so simple, it's complex. ....and that is a very good and uncomplicated thing.