Networking is a skill and art. It takes time to perfect and master it for true excellence and productivity. Savvy networkers can create a checklist or set of networking “do’s” before attending each event or encounter to make the most of their efforts. Double checking this list can be beneficial to your success.
There are several benefits to have a strategic method for applying your networking practices:
1. It outlines a goal (starting and ending point).
2. Establishes a vision and/or mission for your networking agenda.
3. It creates metrics for identifying and benchmarking activities.
4. It keeps you focused and intentional in your endeavors.
5. It is a viable and practical way of expanding your networks.
In the process of creating a checklist to make sure you are on task. Consider these options:
1. What is your reason(s) for attending the networking event?
2. Who do you hope or want to meet?
3. How can this move you forward in your networking goals?
4. What is the best and most effective ways of following up?
5. How can I use this process to build a productive network of individuals?
Last but not least, it is important to evaluate your process and make sure that it is yielding you desired results. In order to do this, it is essential to have a networking business plan. Create a step by step strategy which ensures that your networking efforts are aligned to your goal, vision, objectives, etc. Also, consult colleagues, friends or mentors for additional insight and advice. As always, do not leave your networking up to chance. Stay consistent and professional in all of your dealing and relationship building.