We always hear the same old networking tips… Be confident; Speak clearly; Don’t ramble on and on about yourself; Ask questions about them; Don’t push business cards, etc. I want to share a different way to approach networking events with you that stretches beyond the usual. Planning and deliberate action are equally as important to the growth of your business as the actual product or service you provide. Here’s how you incorporate both so that you can network with intention.
1. Make a list: Before going to your next networking event, check online to see if the attendees list is posted. If so, jot down the names of a few of the people you’d like to meet. Make an effort to meet those people at the event. If the attendees are not made public, make a list of particular industries you’d like to make a connection with.
2. Ask for an introduction. If you happen to speak with someone who isn’t on your list, don’t dismiss them. As your conversation begins to wrap up, ask them if they know anyone on your list. If they do, ask them to make a quick introduction.
By being prepared, you aren’t spending your time hoping to meet a great connection at the event – you will seek a great connection. You are networking with intention. The key to asking for an introduction is that they start conversations off on a friendlier tone rather than the usual stuffy business networking. People are likely to have a more open conversation with you if you are introduced by a trusted friend or associate.
Don’t forget that you are giving value to the event, not just taking from it. When networking works, it results in benefits all around!
Ammie’s Assignment: For your next networking event, make a list of people and/or industries that you’d like an introduction to. Go to that event with the intention of making valuable connections.