KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
Connecting is an integral part of growing a business. Networking events are held almost every hour of every day and thousands of small business owners attend in hopes of making a “profitable connection.” The typical process goes something like this: “Hi, my name is _________,” pause, other person gives their name, and then you ask, “what do you do?” Next you share your business information, exchange business cards and perhaps set up another meeting. Most frequently, you end up with a pocket full of business cards and have not really made a useful connection.
Next time you attend a networking event, have an action plan. Time is a valuable commodity and your participation in such an event has to be maximized to produce the best possible results. The following may help you develop a plan of action:
- Create an “I want” document. Exactly what do you hope to accomplish at this networking session? Who or what are you looking for? Write down several of your “I wants”; by writing them down it help focus your mind on these needs as well as it helps you to remember why you are there.
- Networking is a business function and therefore having a laser type focus as you “work the room” is critical in achieving the desired results.
- Let’s change the initial introduction: Hi, my name is ____________, pause, other person gives you their name, then say “I am looking for someone to or who ______ (insert your want). The answer you receive will tell you how much more time you want to spend with this person, or if you want to set up another meeting.
- You don’t need a pocket full of business cards at the end of a networking session. It you can find one, two or three people who can help you obtain one of your “I wants”, you have had a very successful session.
“Every day, do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow.”
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