By Jeff Beals
Most professionals know they must network in order to achieve long-term business success. I remember as far back as high school being told by my guidance counselor that I needed to “meet a lot of people and build a network.” That was great advice back then and even better advice today.
It’s critically important to participate in the public arena and interact with the people who could become your clients, provide you with valuable information or help you further your causes and beliefs.
While they understand the importance of networking, many professionals do a lousy job of it. It’s easy to show up at an event, grab a drink, eat some free hors d’oeuvres, say “hi” to a couple people, then go home and pat yourself on the back for being “involved outside the office.”
Unfortunately, that’s not networking. It’s merely socializing.
There’s nothing wrong with socializing. In fact, it’s generally a good thing, but it’s not efficient. In order to convert socializing into networking, you need to have a three-tiered goal planted in your mind before you even enter the venue where networking will take place.
I call it “goal-based networking,” and here’s how it works:
“I will get a direct opportunity”
This could be a new client, an invitation to join a prestigious organization, a job offer, a promise to donate money to your pet cause. While Goal #1 is ideal, it unfortunately doesn’t happen at most networking events.
“I will get a solid lead on a direct opportunity”
This is almost as good as the first goal, because it moves you closer to what you really want. Goal #2 should happen at the vast majority of networking events you attend. If it doesn’t, you’re not meeting enough people or not asking the right questions.
“I will meet new people and learn valuable information”
This is the bare-bones minimum goal that you should achieve at every single networking event you attend.
Make a commitment to network more and remember to think about these three goals before walking into your next networking event. Setting these goals consistently over a long period of time will maximize the return from your investments in networking. That means you increase your public profile, connect with the right people, find new business and become that person who always seems to know about business happenings long before your colleagues do.
Surprise ending: This article is actually Chapter Two of my brand-new ebook, “Goal-Based Networking: Turning Your Socializing into Profitable Relationships.” The ebook is FREE, so download your copy now by clicking here: https://jeffbeals.com/free-ebook2.php
Jeff Beals is a professional speaker, sales consultant and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or email at email@example.com or call us at (402) 637-9300.
Here’s Why Should You Choose Jeff Beals as Your Next Speaker:
“Jeff is sure to deliver an engaging and motivating speech! He cleverly ties together his stories and makes the speech end with a punch. Being the closing speaker is tough, but he stepped-up to the challenge and hit a home-run. Due to the high ratings and overwhelming response to re-watch his speech, we are planning on using his video during our NextGen watch party.” – Megan Dotson, Senior Client Success Consultant & Event Director, GovLoop, Washington, DC
“You brought great value to our event. The workshop was a huge experience for our attendees by giving them the opportunity to improve their work in the critical environment in which we are living today. Your talent as a speaker and your qualities as a person made the difference during your time with us. I would certainly recommend you to anyone who asks.” – Ana Paula Costa, Educational Planner, Febracorp, Sao Paulo, Brazil
“A couple of my Dean’s Fellows recently said your presentation two years ago about building your personal brand was their best experience at Creighton.” – Dr. Anthony R. Hendrickson, Dean, Heider College of Business, Creighton University
“Our corporate partnership team had great takeaways regarding how to network smarter while also understanding the importance of our personal brand to current and prospective partners. Jeff does a great job weaving in real-world examples and how you can apply his teachings to growing your business and building long-term partnerships.”
– Jason Booker, Senior Director of Corporate Sponsorships, The Kansas City Royals Major League Baseball Team