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The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals with Online Social Networking Paperback – Mar 15 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Amacom (March 15 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814472869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814472866
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,644,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"HBS Working Knowledge (http: // ""This comprehensive book is a smart addition to any company bookshelf."" Woman Engineer: .".".a practical and vital resource."""

About the Author

David Teten (New York, NY) is CEO of Nitron Advisors, which gives institutional investors access to frontline industry experts, and founder of Teten Recruiting. A frequent public speaker, he is on the Advisory Board for Spoke, and runs a popular blog called Brain Food. Scott Allen (Austin, TX) is a 20-year veteran entrepreneur and IT executive who has implemented solutions for clients such as IBM and Amazon. He is the entrepreneurs guide on and has offered training programs with LinkedIn, Ryze, and others.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa0af27bc) out of 5 stars 30 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa36934ec) out of 5 stars The How-To Resource for All Online Networking! Oct. 3 2005
By Dana - Published on
Format: Paperback
Online social networking tools give you the power to expand and manage your network with an efficiency and effectiveness that were virtually unheard of even a decade ago. It's no longer who you know but who you know online that counts when closing deals, making a career move or organizing a local charity function. The authors of The Virtual Handshake -Teten a CEO and online networker extraordinaire; Allen an entrepreneur-tell their story from hard-earned personal experience and research that spanned over 300 sources.

Settling into our careers, we were taught the old school methods for networking. Glad handing and card flashing at evening mixers where all you could do was hope to meet someone with whom you could form a connection. Not to mention that most networking events seemed tailor made for extroverts only! According to Teten and Allen, online networking, already a fast-growing professional tool, proving to be a highly effective means for growing, cultivating and managing personal networks many times larger than most of us ever dreamed possible.

Getting started is simple, or so say the authors. Most of you reading this probably have anywhere from a few dozen to several hundred contacts just sitting in your computer, on your PDA or, gasp...the old Rolodex on your desk. The trick is to get those people out of your Rolodex and into the online network tools scene where you can really flex your networking muscle.

According to Teten and Allen, getting started with online networking isn't the challenge you might think it is. In fact, 84 percent of us have already used the Internet to contact or get information from an online group, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

The authors have even put together a ten-step action plan to get started with online social networking. Here are six of the ten steps:

1. Write down your goals and how a virtual relationship could help you achieve it.

2. Analyze your current network.

3. Make the mundane sublime. Common office productivity tools combined with e-mail and the Internet are very powerful

4. Become and information sponge (and send that information to people you know).

5. Master your email.

6. Share your knowledge wealth with your network.

The book is not all how-to and action item lists, however. Teten and Allen understand that networking is about altruism, sharing, doing what is in another's best interest and giving of yourself to the network. Speaking from my own personal experience, they're on to something there. In networking, you must give to receive.

Whether or not you choose to participate in online social networking, it will impact us all in some way. It's just as likely that your next client comes from within a salesperson's online social network as it is that someone is using Google right now to learn more about you in hopes of expanding their network.

The Virtual Handshake is a resource for anyone trying to build a professional or personal network both online and offline.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0eef1ec) out of 5 stars BIG Applause for Aug. 8 2005
By Vincent Wright - Published on
Format: Paperback
Though by most accounts my forum is a fairly successful one, as creator and moderator of a very active forum, I can safely say that my forum would have been even more successful and enjoyable had I read and applied the principles in David Teten and Scott Allen's "The Virtual Handshake" when I started "My Linkedin Power Forum" 6 months ago.

David Teten and Scott Allen got it right! And kudos to them for organizing and sharing such great networking concepts with us.

Rather than community participants wringing their hands anxiously trying to figure out the online business networking world, "The Virtual Handshake" will have those who practice Teten and Allen's principles opening their hands to greater prosperity and less online stress.

I highly, highly, highly recommend "The Virtual Handshake" for community members and moderators alike.

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0cde804) out of 5 stars Give and ye shall receive Feb. 22 2006
By Joe Kutchera - Published on
Format: Paperback
My first response while reading the book was "how can a busy professional find the time to do all or even some of these online self-marketing best practices"? But the deeper I got into the book, the more I realized that representing oneself online is really about developing daily/weekly habits that foster getting-the-word out there about what you do. Whether it's hosting a blog, creating a personal web site or an email list, David's suggestions are right on. Most importantly, as David points out about this information age that we live in, hoarding information hurts your online reputation. Give information (e.g. networking, book recommendations, helpful web sites) and ye shall receive.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0af59b4) out of 5 stars A Virtual Handshake on an Open Future Aug. 30 2005
By J. S. Veitch - Published on
Format: Paperback
The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online.

By David Teten and Scott Allen

CEO's and business managers is general have been slow to get online. Those who have been early might have made all the mistakes, but a good number have also made significant money by trading with or doing services for somebody they first met online. Until now too many people have been unsure what to do "now that I'm online". The Virtual Handshake is a solution to that problem. It's plain and clear that what you do online is important, and the authors give you strong, specific and easily understood instructions about how to "do it" right.

For the business executive The Virtual Handshake has detailed instruction on the need to maintain both face to face and virtual communications. Managers tend to be siloed by their work. The Virtual Handshake tells you how to create an online presence that might attract to you the partners you need to succeed.

There is detailed help in the use of Blogs for that purpose by demonstrating your competence and knowledge in your posts. In the process you collect contacts with other people, most of those contacts being very weak connections. By controlling your use of email and lists and social networks like Ryze, you can develop from those weak connections a number of "strong virtual connections" with people who have skills and abilities that might be useful to you. One of the most impressive parts of the book for me was the section on building networks that were both large and diverse, and LinkedIn is the ideal tool for that.

There is very strong emphasis in the book on doing the right things, and in every chapter there is help and advice to make it possible for you too to succeed online. The last sections of the book focus on finding work, or finding the right staff, on marketing, making sales and building our businesses, essential tasks that are doable, with the right approach.

This book is worth every dollar of the price.


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0af5ad4) out of 5 stars PRACTICAL AND THOUGHTFUL Nov. 6 2005
By Laurence J. Stybel - Published on
Format: Paperback
David Teton is CEO of Nitron Advisors, a research firm which provides hedge funds and other private equity funds with access to industry experts. Scott Allen is a consultant on online relationship management. This book serves two valuable purposes: it is a management overview of how digital relationships are a viable supplement to traditional communication methods. The second objective is a practical guide to using this new tool.


As an example of their practical orientation, I tend to use one or two
passwords for all my digital relationships. It is easier for me to remember but there is a cost. I increase my exposure to identity theft. The authors provide an easy way to use unique passwords for different registrations I complete. Instead of providing a specific word, they provide a clever conceptual framework that is easy to remember and can apply to any digital password chosen. Buy the book if you want to learn the secret.

They also provide concrete ways of managing E-Mail deluge.


I will talk about online dating and then tie it into business development.

Online dating is now a mainstream way of linking interested people together. Did you know that online dating is the largest legal segment of the U.S. online content industry, with 29% of all paid content spending in 2003? 20% of all European internet users use online dating sites each month. Match lists over 5% of the entire U.S. adult population on its website.

The authors argue that face-to-face methods for meeting people are inefficient: (1) you have geographical limits on the people you get to meet (2) you are locked into meeting people connected with your immediate social networks and (3) physical appearance has a disproportionate influence in the relationship. With online dating, you get a chance to meet people outside your functional, industry, or geographic communities. It is also possible to get to know the person's thoughts and values before seeing how the person looks. It is also possible to double check the person's story prior to a physical meeting. A Canadian study on dating found that people had as many uncomfortable experiences with online dating as with traditional methods of meeting.

Author David Teten and his wife met through an online dating service.

Face-to-face meetings are costly and time consuming. Digital relationships are inexpensive and time efficient. As search and transaction costs are reduced, volume of social contact increases.

Whether your interest is romance or business development, quantity of initial relationships can sometimes be of more value than quality of initial relationships. Get the quantity first and then mine for quality.


In the "real world" middle management acts as intermediaries for the eyes and ears of decision makers. The digital world allows for some "disintermediation" of these secondary sources of information so that decision makers can make their own judgments with their own eyes and ears. Pentagon Generals and Presidents can jump over the chain of command and watch the battle in real time. Board members can jump over the chain of command and observe customer reaction by tapping into contact databases, blogs, and virtual communities. They can form their own conclusions independent of what they are told and even independent of their own limited face-to-face social networks.

Presidents should not be selecting bombing targets. And Board members should not be making conclusions based on reading a blog. But this information acts as a useful check & balance on what information is being distilled/cleansed prior to being sent.