Are Young People Ready for the Real World?

Luring Customers To the Internet

Partnership Selling

CAMA Networking: Flip Flops Optional

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Bart Jackson and Karen Hodges Miller were prepared for the July 7, 2004 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Harboring Business In the Port of NY-NJ

The last time I paddled around Manhattan and crossed the Hudson River to the Jersey side, I was saddened by the rows of empty, crumbling wharfs. Whatever happened, I mused, to those glory days, when the whole New York skyline bristled with masts, and the port bellowed its wild activity through thousands of hectic voices?

Most of the tall masts are gone, but the action has not slowed down, says Frank McDonough, president of the New York Shipping Association. Last year a record breaking $100 billion passed through the Port of New York and New Jersey, making it the nation’s third largest port. Only South Louisiana and Houston handle more traffic.

Though the romantic days of sail and steam filled the harbor with hundreds of ships at any given moment, all of those comparatively tiny vessels together carried less than one percent of the annual tonnage that passes up the Hudson’s mouth today. The port, says McDonough, is not only growing in capacity, but is also growing in value to our nation. He elaborates on this point when he speaks on “The Port of New York and New Jersey: Why Does It Matter?” at the Princeton Chamber on Thursday, July 8, at 11:30 a.m. at the Doral Forestal. Cost: $40. Call 609-924-1776.

The New York Shipping Association is an eclectic group of organizations that get the cargo in and out of the New York/New Jersey port. A quick browse through its membership list, found at WWW.NYSA.org, shows you that these are the guys who make it happen: American Stevedores Inc., Atlantic Containers Inc., individual shippers, including American Sugar Refining Company, crane companies, shipping firms, and terminal owners. They pump the lifeblood through the wharves, and they advocate hard for a clear, unencumbered flow of goods. Each firm depends on it.

It is good to have an environmentalist as president of this group, although certainly that is too limiting a label. A native of Boston, McDonough attended Boston University, earning a B.A. in political science followed by a law degree. He came to New Jersey as prosecutor for the Monmouth County Environmental Crimes unit, eventually shifting into private practice. As past executive director and current member of the Nationsport group, McDonough advocates an organized dredging master plan, designed to minimize environmental impact and pollutants, while increasing shipping capabilities.

McDonough’s maritime consulting talents have been employed by many, including then-governor Christie Whitman. For the past three years, while serving as president of the New York Shipping Association, McDonough has also served on the New Jersey Tidelands Resource Council and as a professor at Stevens Institute.

Up from the 1980s. Over 80 million consumers and countless businesses benefit directly from the New York/New Jersey Port. But while transwater shipping is the safest, largest capacity, and —many say — the cleanest way to transport goods, it is generally the least visible. Therefore, through the l970s and l980s, while the nation made great strides with its roads and airways, port funds got cut. Repairs and dredging were neglected.

A wake-up occurred in l994. “That year everybody seemed to get together,” says McDonough. “Several congressmen, both governors, the private sector, and all the labor forces — everyone saw the need and the port revived.”

An enormous environmental cleanup accompanied this facelift. Today McDonough cautiously approves of the port’s environmental status, while noting that “we need to improve a lot of the old equipment, exchange a lot of the high sulfur fuels for alternatives, and work more on the stormwater situation.”

A big employer. While the port’s goods no longer flow on and off the docks on men’s backs, the numbers required to on-load and off-load have scarcely diminished. There are now 3,533 registered longshoremen, the highest number in many years. Over 102,000 workers, including freight forwarders and terminal operators, are directly involved in getting the cargo off the water and on its way, while another estimated 230,000, such as ship’s stewards, are indirectly involved.

“All in all, the Port of New York supports over 413,000 jobs,” says McDonough. While this vast army of employees may not feel connected, they all owe their employment to the continued health of the port. The work-loss ripple effect for even one day’s closure would be staggering.

Further, New York/New Jersey is the people’s port. Unlike Houston and many of the gulf ports, which owe the majority of their tonnage to a few main industrial products, the Hudson feeds everybody. Over half a billion tons of bananas are off-loaded annually. It is the nation’s largest handler of cocoa and coffee, and some sources say it sees more cars than California. Every kind of wearing apparel is being shipped in and out in record amounts. As an export point, the port manifests reflect the Garden State’s enormous technology and medicine output.

The way things work. From the instant an individual ship steams past Lady Liberty into the New York harbor, it falls under a mass of regulations and a host of fees, but also thousands of hands that make the off-loading process surprisingly streamlined. Many of the fees are fixed: federal and state tariffs, harbor use fees, inspection fees, container fees, and dockage fees. Other costs, such as terminal use, labor, and transport expenses are negotiable and ships will often band together ahead of time to increase their bargaining clout for these items.

Once the tugs have taken the ship into the wharf, the inspections begin. The cargo manifest has already been forwarded to customs, the port’s agricultural inspection department, and, more recently, Homeland Security. (While, all of these agencies now fall under the Homeland Security bureaucracy, they still operate separately.) The new national security inspections have caused immeasurable red tape, but McDonough points out several ameliorating steps.

Many more inspections are now being done at the country of origin, and thus the cargo enters our port already approved. Agricultural inspections have sped up enormously, thanks to a computerized warning flag system, invented by agent Don Klotzbeacher, that flags probable trouble shipments.

Virtually all the cargo off-loaded onto the docks comes in containers that are ready to hitch to a tractor trailer and hit the road. Massive cranes now hoist these boxes onto the wharf tons at a time with a lot less crating material involved. This cargo handling system, which took hold in the mid l960s, ended forever scenes of a long snake-like line of longshoremen hauling crates from the holds.

Overseeing this entire process is the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a non-taxing, self-sufficient agency with a board appointed by both governors. The Port Authority’s aegis extends beyond the waterways to the bridges, tunnels, and bus and train terminals of the port area. Its job is to ensure the safety of the goods and passengers, to engineer necessary changes, and to market the port. Enforcement is carried out by the Port police force, which this past year seized over $10 million in illegal cargo.

The Port Authority is also the major landlord of the port, and the rent it collects is a prime source of its revenue. Most of the terminal operators on both sides of the Hudson lease the property on which their wharves stand from the Port Authority.

Into the future. The amount of cargo and number of passengers coming through the port are increasing annually. But, McDonough notes, the port itself can more than handle the traffic. Congress recently passed a $4.5 billion improvement package to be completed over the next five years.

The problem of capacity does not occur at the port, but rather after the containers hit the trucks. More cargo means more trucks on our roadways. For that reason McDonough sees the proposed Liberty Corridor as an absolute necessity. Touted mostly as a means of conglomerating biotech minds, the real money in the plan will go to unclog old arteries — and open new arteries — for the flow of goods to businesses.

“The idea of developing an open pathway for goods from conception to point of sale is good and necessary,” says McDonough, “and the Port of New York/New Jersey stands ready.”

— Bart Jackson

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Are Young People Ready for the Real World?

Education is not what it used to be — and neither are students. Where high school used to be preparation enough for a whole range of blue collar jobs, and four years of college was a lifetime’s preparation for a white collar career, ongoing, lifelong education is now essential for everyone. Technology is at the heart of this change, and, strangely enough, it is also something of an impediment to the development of the “soft skills,” such as communication and teamwork, that are at the heart of every job.

Future employment needs, the current state of student preparedness, and ongoing trends are just a few of the topics on the table at the annual Educators Institute, held Monday to Friday, July 12 through July 16, at 8:30 a.m. at the Arthur Sypek Center, DeVry College, and the New Jersey State Police headquarters. Open to secondary-level teachers, administrators, and counselors with the aim of opening a dialogue between educators and the business community, the institute is free, and pays a $50 a day stipend. Call 609-924-1776 or visit www. princetonchamber.org.

The goal of the institute is to explore options through which students may more effectively enter the workplace. Keynote speakers include Joseph L. Boccini of the Mercer County Prosecutors Office and Barbara Tofini, director of the nursing and healthcare career center in the New Jersey Hospital Association. Daily site visits provide an inner-workings tour of the financial, media, technical, law enforcement, and health care industries.

As both a registered nurse and a counselor of healthcare students, Tofini has witnessed an escalating rate of change in both students and in the workplace they are entering. Growing up in Bucks County, Tofini attended Villanova University, earning a B.S. in nursing in l981. She obtained an M.S. in oncology nursing from Gwyned-Mercy Collage in Ambler, Pennsylvania, then returned to Villanova for a post-masters degree in nursing administration. Today she lives in Hillsborough with her six children and her husband, Jerry, who is the CFO at Monmouth Medical Center.

“I work in an industry that has totally changed in the last five years,” says Tofini, “but this is probably quite reflective of all fields — particularly the more technical ones.” Tofini sees a subtle interplay between these changes in the business world as a whole and the new students who are coming to meet it. The needs are totally different — but so are the students.

Industry shifts. Like so many rapidly changing industries, healthcare not only craves more skilled workers, but it needs a much more diverse set of jobs to be filled than ever before. “People entering a hospital are sicker today,” explains Tofini. “In previous years they would have died. Now, with a host of medicines, stents, and therapies, we get patients back to barely stable or at least less critical and quickly send them out of the hospital.”

In terms of employment, this demands that the hospital nurse and various attendants take on the role of family educator. It is they who will be explaining the further home treatment the family must provide. Care also will be continued by various rehabilitation services, physical therapists, and home care professionals.

Even those whose complaints are relatively minor demand far more from the healthcare industry. People pushing 60, who might have been content to rock on the porch a couple of decades back, are now clamoring for knee and hip replacements so that they can continue to ski, play basketball, and climb mountains. These shifts in society and technology create a whole new set of jobs, demanding ever-updated skills.

Technologized students. One on the main changes Tofini notices in today’s students is their advanced technology expertise. Almost nowhere do you find technophobes among the young. They have grown up with techniques in flux and are used to re-training constantly. In fact, they are eager to self teach.

Alas, there is a downside to a youth dwelling in the cyberworld. High school students have developed a short hand code. “RUMOVEE?,” as any 16-year-old can tell you, asks if you are going to the cinema this evening. Whereas “MOVEE?” tapped out with a stylus on the latest palm-size ‘Net device, may ask for a full critique (five symbols or fewer) of the film two teens have just seen.

Communications breakdown. People think in words. The broader one’s vocabulary, the more precise his communication will be. As a new generation opts for instant messaging over the written letter — or even talking on the phone — communication capacity suffers. Language becomes codified to a small number of poignant nouns, spaced by “yadda, yadda, yadda.”

Worry about this shorthand communication is scarcely confined to curmudgeonly English professors pining for the good old days of Byron and Keats. Complaints about communication skills come from employers in all fields. They find that their younger employees have had neither the practice nor training in analyzing problems with the full range of language and have trouble expressing solutions in complete, understandable sentences. Youth code and techie code, like all jargons, acts as a substitute for real thought.

A+ Attitudes. For the past decade, the new wage earners have brought to the job what Tofini calls a better life balance. “Most of the students have grown up with their grandparents still living,” she explains. “They see their elders often burdened by chronic debilitating illnesses due to stress and they do not want that for themselves.”

In many ways, this rejection of the workaholic ethic is reflective of the previous hippie generation. Both generations didn’t like the models set before them and each looked around for another. Children of the 1960s simply turned their backs on the whole work ethic, altogether, while today’s graduating students still want a career, but they are not willing to die for it.

As an off-shoot of this grandparental warning, Tofini notices that the young are trying to take better care of themselves, both physically and mentally. A greater majority are striving for more careful diet and exercise regimens, as well as trying many paths to a calmer inner spirit.

Teamwork woes. Yet while the new wage earners may be handling themselves better as individuals, their team playing skills are not what they could be. Our technology, sports, and way of life today concentrate on the individual to the virtual exclusion of the group. (When was the last time your child went out and played a game of pick up baseball unsupervised?)

“What makes this such a challenge for the future,” Tofini says, “is that business will increasingly depend on more team-built projects. And I’m not sure our students are ready for them.”

Jack of all trades. Probably the greatest generational change in the business world comes from the demands of training. The vocational aspects of college and formal training will not last more than a few years. And with the incredible expansion of knowledge, it is no longer possible for universities to turn out experts-in-the-making in even the narrowest fields. Instead, the young employee must enter his new position with great flexibility and be able to shift into new tasks while picking up a new set of skills on the fly. The good news is that today’s young have spent a lifetime doing exactly that. Change is their routine and they eat it up.

As every generation steps up and takes the reins, the previous one looks dolefully as it hands them over. Both sides are filled with doubt. But in the end, everyone is a little amazed by just how much the whippersnappers actually do accomplish. Best of luck.

— Bart Jackson

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Luring Customers To the Internet

‘The Internet allows us a more voyeuristic understanding of our customers and that has changed the face of business,” says Caryl Felicetta of Single Throw, a marketing company that specializes in helping its clients capitalize on the Internet. The four-year-old company is currently based in Brick Township, but is moving to Wall later this summer. Its business is helping companies to better use the Internet to find and retain customers.

She characterizes the Internet as “voyeuristic,” says Miller, because, for the first time in marketing, it allows businesses to, in effect, shadow their customers and watch them as they search. It provides a unique window into what customers want and what they don’t want, as well as how they go about making choices.

Felicetta, whose title at Single Throw is chief operating officer, presents a seminar, “How to Attract, Acquire, Retain and Market to Customers on the Internet,” on Monday, July 12, at 10 a.m. at the Dover Township Municipal Building in Toms River. The seminar is sponsored by SCORE and is open to current and prospective SCORE counselors and to their clients. For reservations call 732-505-6033.

“SCORE counsels small to mid-sized businesses,” says Felicetta. “They look for ways to help their clients to market their businesses and we’re helping them to better understand Internet marketing so that they, in turn, can help their clients.”

The Internet has dramatically changed the way in which businesses advertise to customers. “Advertising used to be a push medium. People sat in front of the television and advertising was pushed at them,” Felicetta says. “The Internet puts the customer in control. Customers sit at the computer and search for what they want. They are pulling information, not having it pushed at them.”

Felicetta’s seminar will focus on how business can make use of this new advertising vehicle by getting the kind of search engine placement that will ensure that they pull in as many potential customers as possible.

“Marketing used to be about differentiating yourself. With search engines, it is about not being different. It is about giving people exactly what they are looking for,” she says. “Helping clients achieve well-placed and highly targeted listings in search engines helps to bring customers to a website, not just traffic to the website.” For example, she says, if people generally use the phrase “tire dealer” when searching the Internet for their new tires, a business that uses “tire dealership” or “tire store” might not show up in search results. That being the case, anyone marketing on the Internet must know exactly what key words their potential customers are likely to use.

Felicetta comes from “a traditional marketing background.” She received an associate’s degree in marketing, art, and design from Middlesex County College. In 1986 she founded the Argyle Studio, and was one of the first marketers in the New Jersey area to work with digital imaging, animation, desktop publishing. As the Internet grew, website development followed naturally.

“Businesses need to cater to the customer by creating better websites that are easy to navigate, and where the bells and whistles do not get in the way,” she says. “It is all about the customers. They land on a site and see what it can do for them. A website needs to have a clear call to action, whether it is to purchase a product or contact a business.” Important steps in achieving this goal include:

Identifying imminent buyers. What are the most important steps in developing an Internet marketing strategy? Felicetta and Single Throw use a system they call “progression marketing.” Market segmentation, or identifying current and potential new markets, is one of the first key steps, along with identifying who the right customer or “imminent buyer” is.

Generating leads. The second step targets these potential customers. Identifying “quality” sales leads, rather than using a shotgun approach to target a large quantity of leads, saves money in the long run and brings in more sales.

Capturing the attention of imminent buyers. The third step involves getting potential customers to stop long enough to seriously consider placing an order — or making a call. Searchers come to a website with a very short attention span, Felicetta says. A business has an average of five to six seconds to capture the attention of a visitor to its website. Relevant messages, displayed well, help to keep the customer’s attention.

Making the sale. Converting a visitor into a buyer is step number four. This is done by aligning the business, the website, and the products with potential clients. When it all lines up, there is a good chance that the customer will not only fill his virtual shopping cart, but will mouse it on over to the website’s payment center.

Building a new customer base. Retaining customers is the final step in the process. One way to retain customers is by sending relevant information to a customer who wants and anticipates the information. If someone has bought a kayak or a cruise or a lawn tractor through your site, chances are that he is excited about his purchase and receptive to information about what accessories he needs and where he can use his new purchase. You are his partner in a new adventure, and have an excellent chance to build a long-lasting relationship with this new customer, who may live two states — or even two continents — away.

— Karen Hodges Miller

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Partnership Selling

Terry Adams believes in the team approach. She preaches the topic at seminars and with friends. “Partnership selling will improve your sales and improve your customer service,” says Adams. “It is one of the best ways to make your small business grow.”

Adams presents “How to Use Partnership Selling” at the next NJAWBO Marketing Roundtable on Tuesday, July 13, at 8:15 a.m. at the office of Schragger and Schragger at 2850 Route 1 North. The program is free to members; non-members pay $10 and may attend once before joining. To register, call Arlene Schragger at 609-882-4586.

Adams discusses how to develop strategic partnerships to help a business grow without increasing staff, and suggests what types of partnerships are best to pursue. She also discusses how to define the characteristics of an ideal partner, how to set expectations and parameters for operating with a partner, and how to create win/win terms for a partnership agreement.

Adams is president of Adams Consulting Group, a Princeton-based company she founded three years ago. She works with businesses, particularly in the financial services industry, on increasing sales. “Many of my clients are small shops that don’t easily have ways to position themselves better,” she says. In her opinion, partnering with other specialists and small companies is one of the easiest and best ways to do so.

Partnering allows a small business to “position itself as a bigger company by offering additional services to its clients,” she says. When looking for a partner, a business owner should look for someone who can offer services that are complementary to their own. An example from her own business is combining a training program with promotional products designed by another small company. Both services were offered to her client under her company’s name. The “tangibles,” such as T-shirts and pens, came from her partner, while she provided the training.

“The program was developed through Adams Consulting,” she says, “but by working with a partner I was better able to satisfy my client’s goals. That is the bottom line: to fill the needs of the client and become a real resource for them. You can say to them, ‘let’s look at your other needs and see how we can take care of them’ and give them a whole package.”

Adams worked for 20 years in a number of areas, including the financial services industry, accounting, banking, and hospitality. She holds a master’s degree in organizational development, which she says taught her to “look at an organization as a whole and see where the process breaks down.” As a former vice president of Merrill Lynch, she worked to “penetrate the wealth management market via team selling, transitioning traditional brokers into teams of strategic advisors.” Wealth management requires a lot of specialty areas, she explains. “If we could offer more services we could go after and retain bigger accounts.”

Adams lists five points for successful partnership selling:

Find someone you trust. Choose someone with whom you have already had interaction and who you can trust to deliver the same quality that you do.

Start small. Before committing to a huge project, test the waters with a smaller venture. “Work a small deal with your partners. Go to meetings with them and see what the synergy between you is. If it doesn’t work out, your risk is lower,” she says.

Constantly re-evaluate. “You might have trust in your partner up front,” says Adams, “but you must constantly keep re-evaluating it. How have you been treated in the past? How does this person deal with others?”

Set expectations up front. Decide at the beginning of the partner relationship who will do what and when, and what outcomes are expected by both partners. Adams recommends that these expectations always be put in writing, although there does not always have to be a formal contract.

Have a mechanism to measure results. Your partnership should be driven by results. Without the data to look at what you have done, you can not decide if this partnership will do well in the future. Decide in advance on how the results will be measured.

Partnership selling can maximize your value to your client, but to do that, you must add real value for your customer. “You can not just be adding on different flavors, just for the sake of adding on more things,” Adams says. “You have to add value — not just an add-on.”

— Karen Hodges Miller

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CAMA Networking: Flip Flops Optional

At about the time that Americans moved from farm to factory we also took the grave misstep of wholly separating work from life. In a near-biblical sheep/goats sorting, we began to divide hours spent laboring in righteous toil from time spent in ignoble ease.

Such schizophrenia has been increased by generations of business training and corporate culture that assures us that “if you aren’t talking deals, you’re squandering profits.” As a result, many business people stand tongue tied before each other, unsure of how to launch into any basic communication that is not entirely business speak.

To this, the New Jersey Communications, Advertising, and Marketing Association says emphatically, “Enough!” NJ CAMA’s program scheduler, Jack Flemming, proffers the invitation, “It’s July for heaven’s sake. Loosen your tie, leave your cell phone in the car, come to the Triumph Brewery on Nassau Street, hoist a bucket of suds, and learn to chat with your fellows in the business community. Flip flops are optional.” This casual After Hours Networking Event takes place on Tuesday, July 13, at 4 p.m. Cost: $45. Call 609-799-4900.

In both a symbolic and informational gesture, this gathering features engineer-turned-communications-expert Dan Caramanico, founder of the sales development firm Caramanico Macguire, based in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Caramanico explains some simple techniques involved in meeting new people and making connections.

Caramanico was pushed rather early into a trade that, to say the least, is renowned for its lack of communications skills. But he is a man beyond molds. Growing up in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, Caramanico wanted to join his father in the family construction firm. But his father insisted that his grades were too good and he would have to go to college. The somewhat reluctant student went to his guidance counselor and asked, “what major could best train me for my dad’s firm and would require no foreign language?”

“Engineering” was the answer.

Thus, the able, if unwilling, student Caramanico graduated with a civil engineering degree from Villanova in l969, followed by a structural engineering degree from Penn State a year later. He served three years in the Army Corps of Engineers, returning to civilian life as a project manager for Philadelphia’s Day & Zimmerman Engineering. Over his 13 years with the firm, his computer and organizational abilities pushed him ever further away from the job site and into the executive suite. His ensuing degree in engineering management and a Wharton MBA urged him further along this path.

Finally, seeking to tap another set of talents, he opened his sales development company, Caramanico Macguire, an endeavor that does not involve building, but also does not require fluency in any foreign language.

For Caramanico, establishing a network of contacts involves a little planning, a few tricks, and the demeanor to make it all seem totally spontaneous.

Lose yourself. The natural tendency when first meeting another person, particularly one you seek to impress, is to unload your entire history on this captive listener. “Yet the truth is,” says Caramanico, “that everybody loves, first and foremost, talking about themselves.” He suggests you entice this new person to talk and, using a few questions, keep drawing him out about his business.

During this conversation, do little more than nod and make sympathetic noises. With minimal word injections, try to have him tell you about his company’s problems. Every business has several demons and most folks are willing to expound on them in great detail. Now at this point don’t rush him — wait for it. Soon he will wind down and will say something like “Oh well, here I’ve been talking for five minutes straight. What is your line of work?”

He’s nibbling, but will bite only if you keep the hook small. Resist the temptation to launch into a long recitation and hold yourself to about 30 seconds, subtly mentioning your firm and how you provide solutions for companies — what a coincidence! — with problems just like his.

Variable scripts. This conversation must be brief and very precise. Some people may be helped by pre-planning a series of loose scripts for various situations. Caramanico isn’t crazy about scripted answers because they tend to sound, well, scripted. Also, situations are so variable that one speech does not fit all. But it would be wise, he says, to list several points you would like to cover — and to keep them 100 percent jargon free.

Forgotten business cards. Forget your cards? After you give your initial response, your new contact is thinking either, “Boy, I could really use this fellow’s help, I better get his number.” Or he is wondering “How do I shake this boring lout?” In either case, Caramanico explains, he will probably ask for your card. The problem is that the request signals that the conversation is now at an end and you don’t know which way he is leaning.

In some circumstances you might respond to this card request by tapping all of your pockets and saying that you are fresh out. Then ask for one of his. This gives you a little more control and the ability to phone for the next meeting. It also makes you appear not too eager.

Attitude adjustments. Whether you are pressing flesh with the CEO or anxiously trying to make your way past his gate keeper, your attitude is your best weapon. If you come in with a slick demeanor or a haughty condescending stance aimed at giving you presence, you will assuredly be turned out in the cold with a “We see peddlers on Tuesdays” brush-off.

“And for heaven’s sake,” says Caramanico, “don’t try sweet talk. They have heard it all before.” Rather he has had great gate crashing success with a toe in the sand approach. An “aw shucks” line of attack might go like this:

You ask innocently “Is George is here?”

“Do you mean Mr. George Smithers, our CEO?,” his assistant might reply.

“I guess so. Smithers, that’s it.”

“Well, why do you want to see him?”

“I don’t know.” This is the line that may just knock the gate keeper off her feet. Then pull out an official piece of stationery and continue. “I just have this piece of paper that says I must see him for just a few moments.”

It may just work. At the very least, you will never be perceived as a threat.

Within your reach. When you finally make it into that large conference hall filled with 30 high-powered potential clients, the tendency is to be like a kid in a candy store, running around pressing all the flesh you can. The problem is that time forbids, and your hasty demeanor will betray you. Besides, you do not want to be seen as the person who is “working the room.” Go for quality. Try to contact three people within the hour. Make it pleasant and worthwhile.

In the end, business connections are a lot like love — both bonds are usually forged when we are actively seeking it elsewhere. The best hunters don’t stalk, but instead sit quietly, patiently, knowing that they have sharpened their weapons and have put themselves in the proper locale. Don’t fidget. It will come. Remember, it’s July. Chill out and enjoy.

— Bart Jackson

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