Days to Smarter Networking
Bonus Tip Day 3
Tip Day 3: Choose Events Wisely
"Evaluate events objectively. Don't go to one because it's free and skip another because it seems expensive. Get information to see how well the event fits both your business and networking goals." - From 102 Secrets to Smarter Networking
The Lowdown: A colleague of mine complained recently that he's had a harder time meeting the right prospects at networking events. He targets owners of small and mid-sized companies but has found that the events that used to work so well are now attracting more and more people looking for jobs. Let's face it, the economy has left many without work and I applaud any effort to get off the couch and make new contacts through networking. So where does that leave my colleague?
He needs to break out of his routine and try some new events. I suggested he take a break from events at bars and restaurants and instead attend some charity fundraisers. While these may be more expensive than the $20 he'd typical pay, he'll probably get a higher return for his time. One good charity luncheon for $100 might lead to better contacts AND take less time than five so-so happy hours.
If you decide to try this route as well, remember to adapt your networking style. Just like you might take it up a notch at a speed networking event, you should consider down-shifting at a charity function. Ask questions of the people you meet and find out more about them as always, but focus more on their interest in the charity rather than on their business, and slow down your pace. And don't forget to follow up to strengthen that new connection. Complete the networking process no matter where you network.
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