Win friends, influence people, and achieve your networking objectives, well before an event begins.
Power Networking advances careers and builds businesses. That’s a known fact!
But only a handful of participants attending networking events get
to enjoy the rewards of their labor.
Most come away from networking events with nothing.
Typically, they leave with a small collection of business cards and brochures that end up stacked on a shelf, collecting dust, or buried in the depths of a filing cabinet.
What’s worse, the connections they sought and the goals they aimed to achieve, in the end, eluded them.
And to add insult to injury, this sad saga dishes out even more punishment…
Beyond the failed objectives, when tallying up the registration fee, travel expenses, and fresh supplies of business cards, most suffer a financial loss too.
Yes, an overwhelming majority of networking event participants admit
to a negative return on their investments of time, money and hope.
Why do so few succeed? And why do so many continue to fail?
1. Most mistakenly believe that to network successfully:
“All I have to do is show up.” And that’s simply not true!
This false belief is related to the seductive myth that causes more businesses
to fail than any other factor: “If I build it, they will come.”
2. Many also mistakenly believe that the people they meet will be
engaged by their resume-like recitations of:
- What they do—now
- Where they work—now
- Where they used to work
- Where they were educated
Degree(s) and institution(s)
- Their professional claims to fame
Awards, certifications, publications, presentations…
Once again… Nothing could be further from the truth!
If you don’t clearly state how meeting you will benefit them,
instead of “having them at hello,” you’ll lose them at hello!
The Power Networking Formula
To make the most of every networking opportunity, ask yourself the following questions.
- What is the context of the event?
What sort of people are gathering? To do what?
- What is the purpose of the event?
Education? Skills Training? Collaboration? Innovation?
- Why are people attending?
What do participants want/need/expect to gain?
Some, but not all, networking event brochures will give you answers to these three questions. Keep these answers in mind as you consider the next five questions.
- Why will the people you meet want to do business with YOU,
over anyone else in your field?
- How do your objectives meet and satisfy theirs?
What results will you offer to generate for them?
- What will make you stand out as useful or valuable (to the people you meet)?
What unique value, experience or skills do you bring to the table?
If you’re unsure, check out my 4-Step Value Proposition development exercise.
- How will you make them remember you?
- What do you NOT want them to conclude about you?
Start by getting clear on your answers to all eight questions. Then use your answers to shape your participant profile and networking conversation strategies.
Yes, it’s really that simple!
In my next post, I’ll show you how to use your answers to build an engaging,
effective event participant profile PLUS identify strategic speaking points.
Follow along and start using the Power Networking Formula to win friends, influence
people, and achieve your networking objectives, long before an event begins.
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