Three Essential Questions to Ask When Looking for Networking Events

ID-100303851Attending enough and the right events for networking your business can be hard. How do you know which events will be a waste of your time, and which will benefit you in the long run?

Figuring out a plan to help you pick the right events is an important step to making sure you’re not wasting time. While you have to spend a few minutes up front, you’ll save hours in time that you won’t spend at events that won’t benefit you.

To develop this plan, you should ask yourself three questions:

  1. Who are my best prospects?
    Yes, you really do need to ask yourself this. Believe it or not, it is more common for people not to know. This is a prime reason why businesspeople waste their time attending every networking event under the sun – they just don’t know who they want to do business with. One you nail down your prospects and the types of people who tend to work well for you, you can move on to the next question.
  2. Where can I meet my best prospects – or people who will introduce me to my prospects?
    If your business is geared toward a specific type of person, some events will be more effective uses of your time than others. If your business is geared toward executives at large businesses, attending a Chamber mixer after-hours is a waste of time – these people probably won’t be there. Nail down where your ideal prospects go, and attend those types of meetings.
  3. Who, exactly, do I want to meet?
    You don’t know who other people know, and guessing would be a waste of your time. So, to best get in contact with the people you need, you need to know how to describe them. If you can tell your contacts what kind of consumer you’re looking for, in as much detail as possible, you’ll be able to get connected easier.

These three steps are detailed fully in “Avoiding the Networking Disconnect: The Three Rs to Reconnect,” my most-recent book with Brennan Scanlon.

Who are your best prospects? Where are you meeting them? Share your tips in the comments below!

The Top 4 Reasons You’re Avoiding Networking

41xThu+7htL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ (1)Late September 2015, Avoiding the Networking Disconnect: The Three R’s to Reconnect, my new book co-authored with Brennan Scanlon was released to the public. So many business people walk into a networking event with the intention to sell, and they never are trying to buy. When you’re in a room full of people, all trying to sell their products and services, but nobody is buying, this is essentially the networking disconnect.

Along with explaining this disconnect, and many other topics, Brennan and I also go into the top four reasons most business people avoid networking. To learn more about connecting over disconnecting, be sure to pick up a copy of our book.

 

Lack of Confidence

Many people fear not being able to contribute in a networking setting. More confident and experienced networkers can intimidate newbies in the crowd. Fear of rejection and an apprehension toward new contacts can also hinder one’s confidence in the networking arena.

These are all mindsets. So many businesspeople identify as an introvert, but are able to get themselves out of their own heads and put themselves out there in the name of building their business.

 

Being Too Busy

No matter what business you are in, sometimes it can just feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. With work, your family, and your friends, do you really have time for any more commitments? Especially something as trivial as networking? You might think no, but the answer is yes, you should! If you want your business to grow, you’ve got to make time for networking.

We all have 24 hours in a day, and seven days in a week. People who seem like they have everything balanced simply don’t have more time in the day than you do, they just prioritize things more than you do. People will always, 100 percent of the time, make the time to do what is important to them. Make networking and growing your business one of those priorities.

 

Impatience

Networking is like farming, because it is about cultivating long term relationships to help your business grow. There is some, but minimal, immediate return on your time investment, but any large reward will take a while to begin rolling in. You need to dedicate the time to build your relationships so that your contacts trust you and are more willing to help you. Don’t let impatience get in your way of growing your business.

 

Lack of Understanding

Despite all the obvious pros to networking, there is still so much misunderstanding about the true gain to be had here. Many believe networking is about selling, which goes right back to our networking disconnect. Networking is something that you do with people, not to people. Walking up to someone and introducing yourself and asking to do business with them is not networking, it is direct selling, plain and simple. Understanding what networking is and how to do it effectively is step one of the journey.

 

Leave me a comment in the field below if you are guilty of avoiding networking. What are you going to do to turn that around?

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