Photo by Brandon Alms
Dee King has a natural knack for networking and uses her people skills to contribute to 417-land through the Leadership Council for The Network for Springfield’s Young Professionals, the SGForum Committee, the Voice of Business Committee, the Springfield-Greene County Park Board and more. In the last year, she has been teaching her experience-based networking tips through interactive classes.
On Why She’s Teaching Her Networking Tips
“I'd had this elevator pitch and I would try to give it to people, but it would fall flat. I can remember just working so hard to develop the perfect pitch. I finally came up with it and I'm like, ‘this is amazing, this is fantastic.’ So, I confidently marched into this Good Morning, Springfield! event and found someone, cornered them and gave this ‘perfect’ pitch. It fell flat and they just walked away. Books and the internet were telling me how to network and it was going horribly. I decided to change it up and just get to know people. That’s really when everything changed, that's when I started to develop genuine relationships that weren't about trying to give a perfect pitch. That's what I teach in my networking classes [...] that's why I love to share my networking tips.”
On How She Got Her Start
“In 2008, I was about to graduate into a recession. I was a college student and I’d been working from home for my dad through college. I had zero connections. There was a lady who was the director of sales for a hotel who came and spoke at one of my classes when I was a graduating senior. I wanted to go up and meet her because I knew that networking was important, but I felt intimidated. I didn't really have the courage to go talk to her, but I decided to write her a thank you note, at the last minute I decided to put in my resume and I sent off the letter, didn't think about it again. A couple of weeks later I was sitting in the Missouri State University library and my phone rang—I didn't pick it up because I was in the library—but I listened to the voice message and it was from that lady. She said she’d received my thank you card and in all the years she had been speaking to that class, she'd never received a thank you card. She said she had a job opening and wanted to know if I wanted to interview for it.”