How often are you networking with intention?
Why do I ask? New opportunities often come from the people you know and who know what you do.
I started thinking about this after meeting with another small business owner who told me his entire business comes from referrals.
I couldn’t help but do a little research into networking and how people are getting referrals. I’ll share a few things that I’ve learned so far about networking with intention.
Tips for Intentional Networking:
1/ Networking Groups. Find a business group serving the same industry or types of people that you would like to meet. Regular attendance matters.
2/ Schedule 1:1’s. Schedule a one hour meeting with everyone in the group to develop a more meaningful connection. During the meeting, share your name, what you do, the types of clients you serve and the types of connections that would be meaningful to you.
3/ Connect people. Some people make connections naturally and others have to be prompted. Don’t be scared to ask for a referral.
LinkedIn is a great way to research people and build a network. It’s pretty meaningless if you don’t use the connections.
Start with a message about why you want to connect as part of your request and follow up with a call or meeting. If you don’t know why you want to connect, don’t send the request.
Follow them to get insight into who they are and what they do. Then if you think it would be valuable to connect with them, send the request to start the conversation.