In the last few months, I have presented for the legal, small business, mining, engineering industries to name a few and when asked what they think of networking they have responded with the statement that they believe networking is a waste of their time.
I kind of expect some resistance from our matter of fact friends in legal, but the more I keep hearing this the more it got me thinking.
When I questioned a bit further, a commonality amongst people was that they also didn’t have good results from networking and therefore perceived it in a negative light.
So if applying a networking strategy is new to you, let’s side step for a minute to talk about meetings. The meeting process can sometimes be as awkward as networking and there is an equally bad connotation that most meetings are time wasters as well.
Meetings, like networking, are both conducted face to face and in my opinion if you know how to conduct yourself to get optimal results, they are really important opportunities to maximise your time, energy and even monetary commitment to.
Take a moment to see how many of the following you are doing;
- Always set an agenda
- Clearly plan outcomes
- Research topics/ people involved
- Avoid distractions like mobile devices, laptops
- Listen actively and be present to all conversations
- Ensure you give valuable insights and comments where applicable
- Follow up on all action items
- Leave a positive impression on those you met/ met with
How did you go? If each statement is worth one point, did you get a perfect 8? Or is there room for improvement?
Another question to ask yourself is do your results differ between meetings and networking? And if so are you perhaps putting more effort into one over the other.?
I have no doubt that if you do the pre-work needed, act appropriately during face-to-face opportunities and follow up courteously for each you will see better results all round!
As always, get in touch to chat further.