Being in business for any length of time, by now you have heard scores of people extol the virtues of networking and how it has worked for them. Networking can happen at any time, day or night, and if done effectively can be the catalyst to a thriving business and life. The key is to do more than simply hand out your business card or marketing collateral at events. The Networking Plan is key to not only achieving basic business goals, but also to expand your horizons and open doors to new conversations within your industry and amongst your colleagues, regardless of industry. Those conversations can lead to endless possibilities.
Here are your plan prompt questions:
- Who do I want to network with inside of my industry? Outside of my industry?
- Why do I want to network with these individuals?
- What do I seek from these exchanges (contact, vendor, mentor information)?
- Am I there to simply handout my business cards or am I there to truly engage?
- What social graces do I need to work on to put my best foot forward (reduces anxiety, change your body language
- What conferences or workshops can I attend where I can effectively network?
- Do I have a “networking budget” for conferences or events that I want to attend to expand my engagement? Am I in a financial position to start one?
- In what ways can I network virtually?
- If I am not satisfied with the networking avenues that I currently see, am I willing to create one for myself and like-minded people?
- What am I willing to change about my networking skills to get to the people I want to meet? Am I willing to seek out professional assistance to do so?