What do you want to get from networking?
With any strategy you need an objective. Like any other tactic it is no good attending networking events and making connections if you don’t have an objective, unless you have plenty of time and money available and not bothered about an outcome.
Many people laugh at me when I ask what their objective for networking is, because clearly the majority of people believe it is just selling and business referrals. And I guess in the long run I agree, however networking can be much more than that.
On one of my social media post recently – so not a scientific survey – respondents said they networked to bounce ideas off peers and to build a support network of likeminded people.
Initially my reason for attending networking events was to gather contacts for my email marketing – there is no use creating campaigns if you have no one to send them out to and I was starting from scratch. However shortly into my early experience of networking I realised my objective was far more beneficial, it was more about practising telling people what I did and grow more confident in my offering and find my key messages. I also used it for market research ie to find out what other businesses were out there, what did they do, how did they do it and what their needs were. I continue to do this to this day, but now I predominately go out to promote events and activities I am involved in, show my face so people don’t think I have disappeared and to meet new faces.
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What are your experiences of networking? What are your objectives for networking? Do you just sell at networking events or are you there for other reasons? If you would like to share your thoughts please comment below or join me on social media – Facebook Page, Twitter, Linkedin.