Make sure you Network with Purpose
When out and about in the world of Business Networking, it is important to make sure you have a specific purpose when attending events and attend a diverse range of experiences. Not everyone attends such events with the same purpose and hopes to achieve the same goal. Create networking goals and select events that align to your target market.
Some common purposes include:
(a) Building Connections
If this is your main purpose (as it is for many) then be proactive and deliberate about you what you want as the outcome. Always aim to gain an understanding of the type of attendees expected at an event and set some connection targets/goals.
(b) Build Your Reputation & Personal Brand
Determine how you would like to be seen and remembered by the event audience and proactively take steps to establish that reputation. Are you the Community volunteer? Finance expert? Business connector? It also helps to volunteer your services to the event organizers and/or attendees. Become known as the “go-to” person in your field or your local community.
(c) Develop Personally & Professionally
Many networking functions offer great presentations/resources on valuable topics that can further your skills (Like say, a KBN meeting). Also networking events are a great way to practice your interpersonal and sales skills.
(d) To be Social
Some people simply enjoy the social aspect of business networking events, forming long lasting friendships with regular attendees. And whilst that may be a valid purpose for you, it is important that you respect that many/most others at the event are seeking to build mutually rewarding business connections. Consequently you should not be disillusioned by the motivations of others and be prepared/open to developing more professional business relationships that may only be intended to create business opportunities.
Whatever your purpose, it pays to attend multiple or even regular events is order to help better achieve your desired results.