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The Value of Networking – Business Spotlight By Jannise Bush

Doris Symonds

Doris Symonds

Doris Symonds has earned degrees, taught school, worked as head of an HR department, wrote a book,and raised successful children. After retirement, Doris decided to start a business called TALK (Teaching and Learning for Knowledge) because she has a passion for helping others. Her website outlines her history, what she does, her honors and awards, and articles that others have written about her. Her website makes mention of her being known as the queen of networking.

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In 2009, I ventured out to my first networking event. Doris Symonds introduced herself to me, as she does every stranger she meets. Right away Doris saw what was lacking in my networking skills and immediately took me under her wing. With every networking event Doris attended an invitation was extended to me. I went wherever she told me to go and attended all of her conferences as well. She’s done the same for others. The old saying comes to mind, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Doris gets to know people, learns what they need, and leads them toward success. Those who drink flourish. She teaches business owners the value of networking. Not only does she advise on networking, she provides opportunities for businesses to truly engage with each other and build relationships through her yearly conferences. Doris is also available as a speaker for various events.

Networking is a necessary part of marketing a business. Networking offers the opportunity for potential customers to get to know, like, and trust you. Doris is not simply the queen of networking, she has earned the title Networking Queen because she has perfected the art of networking. She doesn’t know a stranger. Literally, everyone who meets Doris likes her, and because her only goal is to give in support of others, she instantly earns trust.

These are some of the simple lessons I’ve learned about networking from the example set by Doris:

1. Consistently show up. You cannot go to one or two networking events and think people will flock to you. People need time to get to know you, like you, and trust you professionally.

2. Introduce yourself to new people. If you are not meeting new people, you are not building a network.

3. Be authentic. If you’re not being real, people can tell. Can’t you?

4. Follow up. Send them a handwritten note (best option) or an e-mail letting them know you enjoyed meeting them and suggest a next step; for example, coffee, lunch, or an invite to another networking opportunity.

If you are a business owner, two of the most effective ways to be successful in business and life are (1) take advantage of Doris’ 30-minute, one-on-one coaching sessions for $25 and (2) attend Doris’ conferences.

Her 10th Annual 2016 Women in Business conference is Thursday, June 23, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Par-A-Dice Hotel in East Peoria, Illinois. For more information, visit her website Events page at

Registration is required. Registration deadline is June 20. You may register online, by calling Doris at 309-224-9665, or by e-mailing