In today’s business landscape a networking plan must be carefully managed or it can very quickly become overwhelming and non-productive. You don’t have to attend every known networking event to be successful. I’ve found that if you “focus on a few,” you will be much better off and avoid networking burn-out.
There is no simple formula to answer this question: “What is the best networking group for me?” The question boils down to this: How much time, money and commitment to you have to give? How can you expose yourself to the widest segment of the business community?
This could include; a weekly referral group, industry associations, Women’s Groups and a local Chamber of Commerce. Also in the mix are online communities, service clubs and a possible charity.
Choose a mix that gives you the broadest exposure, suits your passions and utilizes your talents. Never ever over commit.
You will get more out of your networking efforts is you arrive 15 minutes early for meetings. If the group has name tags on a table as you enter, look over the name tags for anyone that looks interesting and approach them or sit with them at the meeting.
Approach events as if you are the host rather then a guest. Carry an ample supply of business cards. Have a pen handy to make nots on business card you get from people you think you might like to follow-up with outside of the meeting.
Spend time with a few people rather than rushing madly from person to person collecting as many business cards as you can.
Follow-up the next day with a phone call to anyone you feel you might be able to help.
Always remember, it’s not what you know, but who you know that counts. By making the right contacts, networking can be a vital element in your success. Some people are naturals at networking, however, most are not. If rubbing elbows with people you don’t know makes you feel awkward, you may need to brush up on your people skills.
Networking can work to your advantage for years to come if you do it right. You never know when a casual conversation you have today may be vital to your success tomorrow. Just remember when the opportunities arrive, be yourself, show a genuine interest in the people you meet and follow up with any significant contacts. You will never regret having made the effort.
Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
Subscribe to “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!
NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.
Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/