Last week I talked to someone about the importance of networking strategically.
She is doing lots of networking, but there’s no evidence that it’s giving her any benefits, so I asked her how she prepared for each networking event.
Truth is, she didn’t!
And that’s where she’s going wrong.
Like everything in business (and life) you have a better chance of success if you know what you want and have some kind of plan to get it.
When it comes to networking this means networking strategically, which involves:
- choosing what networking events you attend
- Identifying what you want to get out of each event, and
- making a conscious effort to get it
If you want to meet someone in a particular industry or profession, look for them!
Let’s say you want to meet electricians.
If there’s an attendee list, check it to see if there’s anyone there from an electrical business. If so, ask the organiser to point them out, or better still, introduce you.
If not, look for people in related industries, who would work with an electrician – perhaps a plumber, builder, estate agent. Then find them, chat to them and ask them if they can recommend an electrician to you.
This works just as well for any kind of business – florist, hypnotherapist, caterer, web designer.
Find the person who would work alongside them – and ask for recommendations.
Of course, if you’re going networking for another reason, that’s fine too.
Maybe you’re there to learn, to alleviate the loneliness of working alone, or to check out a new venue.
Whatever the reason for networking, just be clear why you’re going
And make sure you know what you want to get out of it.
That way, you stand a much better chance of being successful!
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