Your diary is full of meetings and activities and tonight you are going to another ‘networking event’. You used to enjoy these when they were new to you, however you’re not too keen to go to this one, as it’s already been a big few weeks and the last thing you want to do is be asked…“So, what do you do?” for the millionth time! Sound familiar? Networking events such as cocktails, formal dinners, charity auctions, speed networking, and industry conferences can become painful if you don’t have a strategy for making them work for you every time. The strategy I use is called Network ABC. It is a simple and effective plan that I invented a few years ago that reminds me WHAT I am doing, WHY I’m doing it and inspires me on HOW to implement it before, during and after the event.
A – Attitude
Your attitude and state of mind is crucial to achieve great results. If you show up because you have to, talk to people because you’re there and hang around, ‘cause you’ve gotta be there’, the results you will create will be poor to ordinary. Nobody likes to be around a sorry sook so snap out of it! Your attitude and state of mind must be positive and energised with … ‘I’m here to build my business, build my brand, create interest in what I do, be interested in others and have a fantastic time. If you focus on these, your results will be great. I get excited when people ask me, “So, what do you do?” because I can promote myself and my business. For me, every question leads to opportunities and creates results. What ideal results would spark you to have a fabulous attitude for networking? Take that attitude into the event, and watch your results.
Look at the event you are planning to attend and ask yourself: ‘Will attending this event build my
business, brand, career, team or me personally? If the answer to any of these areas is yes, then start to think about how you want this event to build for you. Are there certain people that you want to meet, such as a sponsor, speaker or industry person? Call the organisers and ask questions about the specific people you would like to meet and see if you can be seated on their table. You may also want to invite key clients to specific events such as golf days, charity, and sporting events as a way of building relationships and creating special time away from your business to talk in a more relaxed environment. Advanced networking skills also calls you to build others. I really enjoy building others business, careers and people wherever I go and if I can create opportunities and connections for others at a networking event, then I am adding value. This not only feels good, it builds your own network and relationships.
C – Commit
You must commit to the event with your mind, body and soul. Sounds, corny I know, however if you have a great Attitude and reason to Build, committing is not that hard. But if you find yourself not committed to going, and giving the event 100%, go back and check your Attitude and reason to Build. Your time, money and energy are valuable resources and at the end of the day, the most precious thing you will not be able to recover is your time. So make sure you are committed 100%. Be open to getting maximum value from the event BEFORE you go, and again, just before you get there, and again during the event and finally just before the end. Keep your commitment 100% throughout the entire event and you will create outstanding results.