Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Networking – how do you make it work?

What works for you when networking or meeting new contacts? Do you feedback to yourself what worked well, what you could do differently, and what actions you will take next?
I tried out the 10-12 businessnetwork club today, and found a refreshing mix of familiar and new faces. The format was great; a round of 40 second introductions, a couple of short engaging talks, and 3 one-to-one meetings, finished off with referrals and feedback.

Maybe it was because this group has just opened up to men as well, but several members were talking about all the different types of groups that they attend. From my coaching angle, I was intrigued to know what people got from the different networking events and what works for them.

The prime reason for most was to make more connections – not necessarily to new prospects, but to people who would lead them to more prospects. Collecting connections is all very well, but what you do with them is fundamental to your business success. All too often there’s little or no follow-up; it’s back to the desk, on with the business of being in business, until the next networking event.

The clue is in the question – what works for you. If you work at following up leads, then you’ll get a lot more from networking. There needs to be a process or plan in place to know what happens next, whether you’re at a networking meeting, an event, or exhibition. Otherwise you’re just collecting cards for no reason.

What are your reasons for networking, and how do you work those connections once you’ve left the meeting?

No comments: