Recently I was paid to go to a networking event for my client. I consider myself a good networker, but doing networking for someone else (and getting paid to do it) made me supercharge my approach. It put a higher emphasis on getting value for my client, and I networked in, dare I say, a better way than I do for myself.
Here’s what was different:
- I went with a goal: to come back with 2 solid leads. Everything else was gravy.
- I knew exactly what type of prospects we were looking for and I’d chosen this event because I suspected they would be there.
- When I located my best prospects, I went out of my way to get to know then. I heard a tiny voice in the back of my head say, “Don’t bother them. Don’t stalk them. Don’t ask too many questions.” But because I was doing this for someone else, I knew to ignore that voice – after all, the voice didn’t know I was being paid, that this was a work arrangement.
- I followed up immediately, ignoring another (lazy) voice that told me to wait a few days, the one that imagined that showing interest by following up right away would somehow be misperceived. No! It means you’re interested and on top of things.
If you were being paid to network, would your approach change? Can we “trick” ourselves into doing better networking (even when we aren’t being paid to do it)?
Can you go to your next networking event (maybe that will be CFC?) and try to implement these techniques?
I have another one tonight…I’m going to try again and see what happens.
Credit: Illustration by Kelsey Grafton – www.behance.net/KelseyGrafton