I’ve been to a few ‘in person’ events lately and it really does make a difference when you are face to face with someone – how your relationship can build quickly.
But planning is the key to helping you quickly build solid connections with the people you network with.
Do you make your connections count?
Here are a few tips for you when you are connecting with new folks, live or virtually:
1. Develop a plan that suits you. Plan where you will go, and who you hope/plan to meet. Figure out what you want to accomplish at each event or gathering – ahead of time. If you are looking online, think of a couple of LinkedIn group that might be helpful. And then be active in them. Don’t plan to have too many places to network or you will never be able to keep up properly with any of them.
2. What is your goal? Who will you speak with? What is your motive in speaking with them? What do you want to achieve by reaching out to each individual person you speak with? You want to have a clear motive for each person you speak with – add them to your audience, nurture them as a prospect or as a strategic partner, get a consultation with them, convert them to a client… there can be many reasons to connect with people. Make sure you know what your reasons are.
3. Don’t forget your follow up! Once you are out there, you want to follow up on what you are doing – to be sure it’s working for you. If you are attending a regular live networking event, chart your progress so you can be sure that you are making headway with your relationships. If not, change your approach. Sometimes you will find that some activities aren’t working for you. Don’t waste time on something that’s not working. Measuring results regularly is key to making sure what you are spending your time doing is working.
4. Find your balance. Many virtual assistants spend all their time ‘networking’ with their colleagues. They keep asking advice and sharing their strategies, but the truth is many of them are just networking in the wrong place. While it’s important to network with colleagues, it’s far more important to spend the time networking with potential clients. Be sure to find your balance of c