“People are pretty generous in this specialty, if you contact them ahead of time and take the time to show them you’re organized and you’re excited,” she added.
Explore This IssueFebruary 2018
Another consideration for Dr. Ishman on how to network—particularly at the AAO–HNS annual meeting—is joining the Millennium Society. The society, which requires a minimum $1,000 donation ($250 for residents/fellows), is an investment, said Dr. Ishman.
“It is a smaller venue where a lot of leaders in our specialty, whether they are rhinologists or pediatric otolaryngologists or generalists, tend to come together,” Dr. Ishman said. “I’ve found that paying for access to the Millennium Lounge is worth its weight in gold in having a place to be. … It’s a great place to meet somebody and not have to worry about everybody running off to the next meeting or lecture.”
Eventually, however, everyone at a networking event runs off somewhere. It’s incumbent on otolaryngologists to follow up if they truly want to make networking successful.
“Follow-up after a meeting is essential,” Dr. Setzen said. “If one wants to demonstrate authentic leadership, it’s table stakes. If you don’t send that follow up message or make that call, you may lose that individual’s interest permanently.”
Misner calls that process 24/7/30:
- Within 24 hours, send the person an email, or try the seemingly lost art of sending a handwritten card. (If your handwriting is sloppy, Misner recommends services that will send out legible notes on your behalf.)
- Within a week, connect on social media. Focus on whatever platform that person has on their business card or email signature. Connect where they like to connect to show the person you’re willing to make the effort.
- Within a month, reach out to the person and set a time to talk, either face-to-face or via a telecommunication service like Skype.
“It’s these touch points that you make with people that build the relationship,” Misner said. “Without building a real relationship, there is almost no value in the networking effort because you basically are just waiting to stumble upon opportunities as opposed to building relationships and opportunities. It has to be more than just bumping into somebody at a meeting … otherwise you’re really wasting your time.”
Richard Quinn is a freelance medical writer based in New Jersey.
Part three of this article will focus on building meaningful relationships.