‘Your Network is your Net Worth’ – Why networking is valuable
Since leaving a full time ‘job’ I have attended dozens of networking events. My business coach always say that your network is your net worth. This means that your value can be measured by the number of people who know you. Not the number of people who you know – that’s a very different number.
So, I have met hundreds of people and many of them will still know who I am. I become a part of their business knowledge and could be a solution to one of their contacts.
There are some key advantages of going to networking events: –
- Face to Face is better than ‘Facebook’
- Attendees will be local
- Delegates will have similar challenges to you
- There is always an opportunity to learn / meet key contacts
- Can source suppliers as well as potential customers
- Delegates may know someone who can help you even if they cannot
Remember that everyone there has a purpose to meet new people, find business contacts and to learn. So the follow up is as important as the meeting
After an event I undertake three actions
- Email everyone I have met,
- Add them to my CRM system – recording when and where I met them
- Invite them to follow me on LinkedIn
- Will they remember me?
- Will I remember them?
- Is there any emotional bond?
This last one is vital moving forward. Challenged by this, I was recommended not to ask what people do but to ask them ‘What is the most interesting thing about you?’
WOW! What an icebreaker – I tried it at my next networking session and discovered that someone I had met a few times before had been bungy jumping in Zimbabwe which is where I happen to have spent some of my honeymoon 23 years ago. Instantly a strong shared knowledge and experience. More memorable, more interesting and more effective connection.
Finding something on an emotional level that creates a strong connection is important as the benefit of the meeting or introduction will last beyond the brief encounter at the networking event.
So next time you are at a networking event, change your approach – be prepared for impressive results.