May 2013 at CSI

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The CSI Network: Building Relationships and Uncovering Opportunities!

By Luis Losada

 What does a network mean to you? In its most simplistic definition, a network can be described as an interconnected group or system. This concept applies to various industries and facets of life, and in all of these the end goal is the same, success.  On May 8th the Metro New York chapter of CSI hosted a networking event at the HÄFELE showroom located at 25 E 26th St. Over 40 CSI members and guests were in attendance and took advantage of this great opportunity to brainstorm with fellow members and uncover any opportunities that are on the horizon.
CSI is a conduit that brings together design, specifying, building and manufacturing professionals to share ideas, knowledge, and best practices. Together this network of professionals works to complete a project as successfully as possible.  There are many reasons why those in attendance took advantage of this networking event including:

  • A young professional looking for a mentor to guide them through their professional development.
  • Old friends reconnecting after some time.
  • Manufacturing companies looking for opportunities to gain more insight into the design and specifying process of a particular firm.
  • A young professional looking for opportunities to expand their knowledge and skills.
  • Specifiers looking for new materials or manufacturers.
  • Product representatives comparing notes on upcoming projects.
  • A member from the legal team of a local architectural firm looking to learn more about the design and specifying process.
  • A professional seeking an employment opportunity.
  • Shoring up a foursome for the upcoming CSI Golf Outing.

During the CSI Networking event those in attendance had the pleasure of having a team from Steven’s Technical Institute introduce their design and entry into the Solar Decathlon 2013 competition.  The Metro NY chapter of CSI is a sponsor of their entry in the competition.  The result of this presentation is a perfect example of the value of a network.  Immediately after their presentation, the team from Steven’s was offered assistance from design professionals to assist in designing and building the home. Manufacturers and representatives offered to donate their materials as well as support the building of the home.  The CSI network gave Steven’s the opportunity to reach over 40 professionals in various industries all during one meeting; whereas it would have taken them many hours in meetings to achieve the same.  The home that is being built by Steven’s and its team will be donated to a needy veteran of the military. Below is a rendering of the home. 
We also extend a warm welcome to the 28 new members that joined the CSI Metro New York chapter this past month.  It was one of the largest membership additions to the local CSI network.  It was good to meet some of those new members at our networking event and we look forward to meeting and adding new members to our network.  Let’s continue to get the word out and grow our network further.
Join us our next event on June 12 for the sixty-second annual meeting and inauguration of new officers at Annie Moore's Restaurant, 50 East 43rd Street, Lower Level, New York. There will be opportunities to network with your peers, colleagues, and other industry professionals. For more information and to register for the event, please click Click Here .

A special thank you to the HÄFELE team for hosting our program at their 25 E 26 Street Show room.   

10 Tips for Networking and Building Relationships:

  • Be yourself. You want to build relationships honestly and transparently.
  • Don’t be intimidated. Every member of a network is valuable and brings different perspectives.
  • Card collecting is not networking.
  • Appointments are still required. Just because you met someone at a networking event it does not mean you can now show up at their office unannounced.
  • Ditch the Sales pitch.
  • Listen more than you speak. You have two ears and one mouth. A 2 to 1 listening to speaking ration is a good rule of thumb. Don’t hijack the conversation.
  • Smile and be friendly.
  • Try not to hijack the conversation. It is easy to just ramble on when one is nervous. Take a deep breath and go with the flow.
  • Ask open ended questions. Nothing ends a conversation quicker than a closed ended question.
  • Follow up! Follow up on your conversation. If you set the expectation of a future meeting or conversation, don’t forget to follow up.