I had mentioned in an earlier post that I’d alway used an FT Business book as my “bible” for Business Planning. Mick Cope had quite an act to follow with his book – “Personal Networking”.

The book is both a “quick read” and a “handbook”.

QUICK READ – Taken at speed you can get lots of interesting snippets and quotes that are extremely useful.  My favourite quote from the first chapter is:-

“By professional networking I mean a set of close contacts or associates who will help deliver my value to market. The key thing is that these are people who will ‘help’ you in the market, THEY ARE NOT THE MARKET. Sorry for the full-on letters, but my definition of a network is ‘people who will help amplify my personal capital in the market’, not a bunch of friends and colleagues to whom I try to sell under the guise of giving them a great opportunity. Active management of these people is not networking; it is client relationship management, a whole different ball game and one deliberately not covered in this book.”

I really like this comment – and Mick’s general ethos on networking. I particularly agree with the emphasis on the difference between CRM and Personal Networking. My personal interest in the area of Personal Networks started with investigating CRM. I see that CRM is much more about “keeping the score” and sharing contacts – your personal network is a very different thing.

HANDBOOK – The book is extremely thorough and introduces processes you can follow to analyse your network and evaluate your connections in a visual way. There are good illustrations throughout – and Mick produces detailed tables to support the writing. This coupled with the detailed coverage of every element of networking makes this a great bookshelf reference.

It might be easy to assume this book is out of date – first published in 2003 – but I think that networking is just networking (on-line or real world) … and this book keeps you focussed on the basic principles. Don’t expect any tips on LinkedIn or Twitter strategies though!

Mike’s website (Wizoz) – offers links to Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.  Take a look – and consider buying a copy. It’s not quite the “bible” my FT Business Book was – but it definitely should be on the reference shelf for networkers.