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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, Joel

Smith and his company, People Source Group, may be able to help.

Smith and his business partner Barry Meyers function as consultant

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.

Heshie Segal, one of the consultants in the "stable"

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, is based in Yardley, and her

motto is "How to Turn Business Cards into Business." Some

of her talking points:

Build relationships , says Segal. It’s the first step in

building a network. Taking someone’s business card is not enough.

"The common way people network is to meet as many people as they


Build a diverse network. . When we choose to mingle only

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."

Show up everywhere if you want to be known in the community.

You don’t need to be the first one there or the last one gone but

you need to be visible.

Take the people you connect with and connect them with each

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."

Follow up if you meet someone you genuinely like. "Most

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.

Be a resource , so that people will know to come to you

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."

"Look at how you can be of help to someone else, not expecting

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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