Most of us go to receptions, mixers, seminars, conferences and other networking events on a regular basis. Many people get frustrated because they spend a lot of time and don’t see any results.
The first and most important tip to change this, is to ask yourself the question: Why are you going to this particular event? What are you hoping to learn there? Who are you hoping to meet?
Then think about your objectives. What are your goals for your professional life? Where do you want to go? What do you want to achieve?
Then look at it and ask yourself: Are the events I’m attending the best places to achieve my goals?
If you think about it, you will often come to the conclusion that you regularly go to events which are irrelevant to your goals and that you’re missing events where you could meet people who can help you achieve your goals.
Let me explain this a little bit more in detail to avoid confusion. People often observe that by asking these kind of questions, networking becomes very focused leaving no room for spontaneity. The paradox is that by thinking more about your objectives and handling them in a more focused way, there will be more room for spontaneity.
People often tell me that a specific networking event wasn’t worthwhile for them because they didn’t meet anyone interesting. And with each so-called uninteresting person his or her frustration grew. But others feel this on a conscious or subconscious level, which isn’t beneficial.
But if you know in advance the names of the three people you want to talk to or the profile of the people you’d like to meet, you will be better focused and more interesting to others. You will have something to talk about and you will give other people the opportunity to help you. People enjoy helping one another, especially if it doesn’t cost them any money and only a little time!
Of course it all starts with the networking attitude: look for ways how you can help others first. Add to this the strategy described above and your participation in events WILL pay off!
To your success !
PS: this is one of the tips from the CD “Let’s Connect at an Event, 30 immediately applicable networking tips to make every event a success” (in Dutch: “Let’s Connect op een evenement, 30 direct toepasbare netwerk tips om van elk evenement een succes te maken “). Click on the links for a free light version of this CD (scroll down at that page).