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Be Technical with High Tech Networking

published February 28, 2013

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
Published By
( 10 votes, average: 4.1 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Networking for profit and charity

A physicist in Hawaii networking with over 5,000 people a week?


Hardly. But it's true!

Don Crescimanno started as a salesperson in the computer business in 1966 when, in Don's words, "computers were doing only very boring stuff - payrolls, taxes, massive inventories and scientific projects."

Computers may have been doing boring things, but Don still had to find ways to sell them.

In an effort to create some variety, Don came up with several exciting uses for computers, including marketing, and social networking. In 1975 he designed data base word processing software for a desktop computer. It enabled a sales person to make thousands of contacts a week versus the ten to twenty formerly made in the same amount of time. The goal of the system was a face-to-face contact with a qualified prospect.

Many people are involved in the buying decision for expensive and complicated computers. As a salesperson, Don recognized that you have to network with a client's business and get everybody interested - from management through purchasing, design, applications and engineering personnel.

Once sold, these same people become part of his network and were prospects for additional equipment and programs.

IT'S PARTY TIME!

Don developed a unique concept which generated the necessary networking process - a networking party of prospects.

Engineers, mathematicians, physicists & programers were all invited to the supplier's special conference room for an elegant buffet - the perfect setting for lively discussion of applications and problem solving and for networking.

Don is not one to let grass grow under his feet. Feeling the need for a challenge, he moved to Hawaii and carried his computerized "invitation to a party" concept with him. Only this time he adapted it to the social scene for both fun & profit.

In his new environment, Don had to start from scratch. His problem was one he'd faced before - he needed to know his prospective customers' problems and goals prior to the introduction of product.

How does one get to know customers face-to-face prior to his initiation of the sales cycle?

ELECTRONIC NETWORKING

Don had already realized that people enjoy meeting others with like minded interests. Keeping this in mind, he put together social functions inviting successful business and professional people. He became a people broker. The critical ingredient in Don's events was not the place, the food or the entertainment. It was the interesting, motivated people invited.

These events became a real hit (and a great source of prospects for Don).

As these events became more and more popular, Don realized that he needed some assistance. He notes, "My computer data base allowed me to keep track of our highly mobile Honolulu business and professional population. However, manually calling fifty to a hundred or a thousand people a week started to drain my resources of time and energy

"I looked into the possibility of voice mail and voice mail boxes. The existing commercial equipment was just too expensive. Turning to my technical training I put together my own equipment and software to serve my own special and very per sonal needs.

"With what I believed to be a good product and efficient equipment I launched Cat-Net (Calendar Announced Tele-Net-work)."

CALENDAR ANNOUNCED TELE-NETWORK

Cat-Net is a for-profit social networking system. It provides members with a voice calendar of events in many areas of interest, and it can be accessed from any touch tone phone 24 hours a day.

The content of the Cat-Net Calendar is based on Don's careful review of newspapers, magazines, TV, newsletters, and the public and private sources of Cat-Net members. Every member can update his or her personal calendar of business, professional and social events for an entire week with a three minute phone call.

Additionally, Don invites members to events by three means: first by calling the Cat-Net Calendar (voice mail), by being invited by Don's sophisticated automatic dialing computer or by mailed invitations. Members must have their own personal answering machine. The sponsoring individuals for events need an answering machine for accumulating the R.S.V.P.'s.

Membership in Cat-Net is by referral. Membership information is not offered through general advertising. The desire is to attract select individuals anxious to participate. Those seek ing membership can contact an existing member for sponsorship.

Don asks individual members to exercise care and judgment when inviting guests to functions. He says, "We are creating an organizational personality which is the sum of its individual parts." Membership is revocable if a member abuses the computer access system. There is an annual membership fee to access the Calendar and to receive weekly event an announcements and invitations.

SOCIAL EVENTS

Don says there are an average of 550 events going on in Honolulu each week. Additionally he may stage as many as 200 member events a year including private parties, theatre parties, cruises, art openings, club and restaurant openings and charity events.

Perhaps the most popular Cat-Net events are the Tuesday night business mixers. These events consist of between 150 and 400 business people and professionals attending a mixer cocktail party at a different restaurant location every week. Here people network and gather both leads and social contacts.

Members pay a modest admission charge and pay for their drinks. The restaurant provides the hors d'oeurves. (Co-au thor Ken Erdman has attended one of these Tuesday night mixers and reports that they are everything promised - a great way to business network each week in some of the finest Honolulu restaurants and clubs.)

NETWORKING FOR CHARITY

Often Cat-Net is called on to help with charitable causes, and Don Crescimanno is quick to respond. He notes, "As a volunteer fund raiser for several community organizations, I have access to the Who's Who in Honolulu corporate, small business, professional, political and service organizations."

The Variety Club of Honolulu wanted to donate a brand new van for the use of a worthwhile children's organization for a full year. The chairperson, being new to the Island, didn't know where to turn for qualified applicants. Don, with his vast network was able the very day he was contacted to put the chairperson in personal touch with a reputable organization that could really benefit from the use of the van. It was a typical example of the charitable side of Cat-Net.

NETWORKING REWARDS

Don sums up his networking experiences this way, "The real fun in my business is the very interesting successful people I am able to meet and introduce to one another. A French chef never had as much pleasure as I do in creating 'possibilities through people,' a stew which only gets better with age as new individual ingredients are added."

Alternative Summary

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

More about Harrison

About LawCrossing

LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.LawCrossing.com.

published February 28, 2013

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 10 votes, average: 4.1 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.