If you’re like most people, you get nervous for – or even dread – attending networking events. Relax. Count to 10. I have a secret to share with you that will ease all of your fears.
Networking isn’t actually about the event.
- The preparation leading up to the networking event. Recall the expression, “practice like you play.” As in sports, the same idea applies to your approach to networking. Consider that the actual networking event is a small fraction of your time. The time you spend preparing your elevator speech, developing your networking strategy and business goals, and researching networking events/attendees is key. This is where you will find and set yourself up for success in networking. Do as the Boy Scouts do and “be prepared!”
- The follow up after the networking event. Your presence and active (read “prepped and ready to go”) participation in the networking event is your opportunity to gather intel. Who are the attendees, what are their goals and motivations, and who can you help? Once your data-gathering mission is complete, the real work begins as you start to follow-up with everyone you met. Be purposeful, systematic, and thoughtful here as partnerships are forged here in the follow-up.
- The totality of your networking strategy. The three phases – preparation, attendance, and follow-up should work together seamlessly to create your networking strategy. Be sure to schedule time for these activities into your week and be thoughtful about the types of events you attend. Remember, it’s the whole of your efforts that will make you successful in networking.
For more insight into just how to better frame your mindset around your upcoming networking event, click here.
Get prepared with these networking tips from past blogs: