“I hadn’t thought about networking as being strategic”
“I was really intrigued by your statement that I can achieve anything I want without having to attend a networking event”
These were two comments made by people attending a workshop that I gave recently for a group of fellow coaches.
So, what do I mean by Strategic Networking? In simple terms, this is about planned networking based on your strategic goals.
Many people that I come across have quite a narrow view of networking and see it as going to events where they will meet business people and they choose which events to go to based on a variety of reasons such as recommendations, locations, timings and speakers.
These are all valid reasons but may not be the most important, especially as our time is limited and we want to be as efficient with that time as possible.
A wider view of networking that I work with is: “Networking is about developing and nurturing a network of contacts in order to maximise opportunities for oneself and others.”
Based on this principle, networking is about connecting with others in order to help one another and, if the objective of your networking is to find new clients, it is about finding people who could introduce you to your potential clients.
If you are a gardener and want to keep bees to produce honey, you will think of what kind of garden and plants you want to cultivate in order to provide the bees with as much nectar as possible. I saw a television programme a while ago about a beekeeper who wanted to make honey from heather and took his beehives to areas that were rich in heather.
My three strategic networking questions for you are:
1. What do you want to achieve?
2. What are the attributes of a good contact/connector for you?
3. Where could you meet them? – or people who know them?
Once you have answered these questions, you will find that your networking activity will be more focused and productive. You may even be able to do it all without attending any networking events!
Contact me if you would like to know how…