Networking truly is an art not a science.
If you ask any successful networker they will all agree on one very important aspect of networking success. That is to be effective you need to understand it is all but building relationships. I agree with that also but who do you want to build a relationship with, for what purpose and do you say, well maybe………. way too often?
Here are Nine ideas to keep in mind in regards to networking.
Know before you go
1) Who do you want to meet?
Prospect or Partner? There is a big difference in your conversation depending on why you are speaking to someone.
2) Is it the right networking event?
So many to choose from which do you attend?
Free events generally attract the larger groups are at different locations and are sponsored. The exciting part is you never know who will attend. Be prepared to meet a lot of people. Let them speak first and then decide if they are a Prospect, Partner or someone to pass on.
Workshop events have a different mindset. They tend to be a smaller crowd and less time for generally networking. Be sure to arrive for the coffee, cocktails or free time before the presentation begins, this is when you will meet the attendees. The attendees are there to learn and grow, good place to look for strategic partners.
Business Development groups – it is true that everywhere you go you are networking, but not every where you go are you selling. At a free or workshop event you tell people how great you, the services you provide, your strengths. At a business development it is all about the areas you need to improve on, An ideal way to gain great advice, understand that many of us are challenged by the same things and if a strategic partner is what you need this is an ideal place to find one.
3) How should I dress?
Interestingly enough I hear this question often.