Networking With a Purpose

Networking. It’s a term that can make even the most confident person break out into a cold sweat. The thought of going into a room full of strangers and trying to make small talk is enough to send anyone running for the hills. But networking doesn’t have to be a dreaded experience. In fact, it can be quite enjoyable – and even beneficial for your career – if you approach it with a PURPOSE!

Networking can be a great way to build business relationships and expand your professional network. However, it can also be time-consuming and feel like a chore if you’re not purposeful about it. If you’re looking to make the most of your networking efforts, here are a few tips on how to network with a purpose and make an impact!

  1. Distributing business cards
    • Have your cards with you and easily accessible. Like in a pocket.
    • Offer your business card once you have an interesting conversation with potential client, partner or referral opportunity.
    • Don’t pass cards out without a purpose.  It can make you look pushy or desperate. Think quality, not quantity.
  1. Have talking points ready
    Show interest in them and their business with questions like:
    • “How did you decide to start your business?”
    • “Can you tell me a bit more about your business.”
    • “What are the unique attributes your business offers?”
  1. Ask open ended questions
    One of the most common brick walls that networkers hit is a dead-end in the conversation. Ask questions that help lead into more talking points, rather than yes or no questions to help make the conversation last longer.
  2. Make it a point to connect with professionals in your networking sphere.
    If you happen to have access to the list of attendees, make a mental list of people that you feel would align best with your networking sphere and seek them out during the event.
  3. Network with a purpose, talk about, do, or wear something that will make you stand out, make an impact and be remembered. We can exchange a hundred business cards but at the end of the day who will really remember your name, or business? By making an impact during your first contact you will align yourself to be remembered in the long run.

In closing: Network with a purpose, you do not need to meet with everyone in the room. When you create 1 new business relationship, your business sphere expands. Don’t be afraid and have fun! Learn about our networking group and visit us at our next meeting.

Strategic Networking Partners – Wear something bright RED to the next meeting to show us that you read this! If you do, we will enter you in a drawing to win a special prize at the meeting.