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This article by Kathleen McGinn Spring was prepared for the November 20, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Rainmakers For Consultants
If you are a consultant looking for clients,
Smith and his company, People Source Group, may be able to help.
Smith and his business partner
brokers. "We met people at consulting meetings — former CEOs,
former CFOs, marketing people — who wanted interim work,"
says Smith. "And people new to consulting were looking for someone
who could help them find opportunities. So our slogan is `solutions
from the boardroom to computer room.’"
"We have good connections. We network well. We look for opportunities
and try to match the best consultant with the opportunity — we
don’t market any one individual," says Smith. "Consultants
like it because we are another resource. Clients like it because we
are a one-stop shop." People Source represents nearly 400 consultants
in a wide range of fields: IT, engineers, scientists, trainers, human
resource and compensation specialists, marketers, financial professionals,
and public relations people, including photographers and videographers.
of People Source Group, will give a seminar on networking on Thursday,
November 21, at HQ, 116 Village Boulevard, Suite 200, Forrestal Village.
Cost for the three-hour seminar is $150. participants will also meet
Smith and find out about his company’s services. Call 215-646-5520
Smith’s company is located in Maple Glen, Pennsylvania, but he stages
these training seminars in Princeton partly because he has strong
ties to this area through RCA and Sarnoff. After majoring in mechanical
engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 1970, he went
to work at RCA in Moorestown. He had various manufacturing and operations
jobs and spent 18 years as vice president of engineering at a textile
and paper company. He returned to RCA, by then the Sarnoff Corporation,
in the late 1990s, working in Dan Koloski’s HiTek division to do light
manufacturing for outside contracts. After a downsizing at Sarnoff
he partnered with Meyers to start his own firm.
With its variety of specialties, People Source Group has an unusual
business model. There is no cost to consultants until they get a job,
then People Source gets 20 to 25 percent of the hourly fee and takes
care of the billing. A competitor, ProSavvy, is web-based, and as
Smith notes "they don’t actually meet the person or the client.
We interview every consultant and guarantee our work." ProSavvy
also charges an initial fee.
"We’re not marketers — we have to tell it like it is,"
says Smith, "and people like that. But our seminars are a marketing
piece, to get the brand out there."
The November 21 seminar features Segal, a professional speaker. An
alumna of Douglass College, her company, Business Connections with
Heshie (215-493-1640, wwww.heshie.biz) is based in Yardley, and her
motto is "How to Turn Business Cards into Business." Some
of her talking points:
building a network. Taking someone’s business card is not enough.
"The common way people network is to meet as many people as they
with those who are "like us", we miss out on an important
part of who we are and who we have the ability to become.
"If I want to find out about a different culture," says Segal,
"I can ask someone right in my network. If I really don’t have
anyone who can answer a particular question, I am usually just one
person removed from finding that answer. Perhaps one of the greatest
pleasures is having become a better person because of the people who
surround me. They represent the world as diverse as it is."
You don’t need to be the first one there or the last one gone but
you need to be visible.
other. "Be known as the individual who goes out of his or her
way to give referrals. It will not be long before people come to realize
how valuable it is to have you as a colleague and will eventually
start looking for ways to send you business as well. The old idea
about not sharing relationships is passe. If we believe that there
is enough room for everyone, then everyone succeeds," says Segal.
"I have Girlfriend Connection parties, gathering people I have
just met and inviting them to my place."
people don’t know how to do that. It’s the first step to building
a relationship." Send E-mail and/or handwritten notes after an
event and send thank you notes at every opportunity.
when they need something. Share your knowledge, strength, and knowhow.
Segal keeps a business card workbook with categories, cross-referenced
chronologically and by categories, "so I know who people are and
what they do — from medical to house repair."
anything in return from that particular person," she says. "If
you do that enough times, somewhere, sometime, someplace, someone
will be there to help you."
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