Why do you network?
Maybe that’s a simplistic question to ask, yet I know that many people do not have a networking strategy. If there is a business plan, there is probably some kind of marketing strategy and networking is likely to be there as one of the tactics.
If you ask them why they are there, they will tell you they need to network; they want to be “out there more”; they are looking for new contacts. Dig deeper and ask more questions and be sure you know the answers for yourself. If you are looking for specific types of people / business, it really helps others to know this and it is easier to work out who you are likely to be able to build long-lasting relationships with and which groups of very nice people are just not where you need to be. A few starting questions:
- who are they looking to network with?
- what kind of contacts do you need and want?
- are you aiming to find them within the group or through the group?
At the least, you will engage them in conversation and help to understand more about they way they do business and with whom. It might also help you to clarify your own thoughts as to whether who and what you are looking for is likely to be in the room or connected to those who are.
Feel free to have a look at my Tips for Networking groups
Contact me if you’d like to discuss ways of building your networking skills and strategy and, if you are in the area, I’d be pleased to invite you to one of the groups I attend.