I just looked ahead on my calendar and it seems as if there is some sort of networking activity (or two or three) penciled in for each and every day in the month of September. I’m actually excited and looking forward to making some new contacts and reconnecting with some old ones too. I’ve tried to be strategic and select meetings and events where I think I will get the most bang for my time and have eliminated the ones that I think will be “fun” but perhaps not all that beneficial for work.
For me that’s what it is all about. Going to networking meetings events takes time and I am always thinking about how I am going to juggle my responsibilities and actually DO the work (sales and marketing consulting and training) as well as BUILD the business.
It’s a never-ending dilemma but one thing is for sure, I follow a few rules when it comes to my networking endeavors. Here’s what I do:
- I evaluate each and every meeting or event that I am going to attend (apart from Adrian’s Network of course:) and reflect upon the pros and cons of spending my time so engaged.
- I make a plan of action so that I know exactly what I would like to accomplish at the meeting or event.
- I attempt to find out who will be attending and reach out to select attendees in advance of the event.
- I make certain to follow-up and follow-through with the people I meet and ensure that I have an excellent touch-point plan in place so that I don’t fall off of their radar screen.
Over time I have added some groups and have deleted others but my decision is always based on a combination of quantitative as well as qualitative review.
There’s just too many networking opportunities out there to be haphazard about it.