Here is the 9th Article I wrote for 336Events.com
by Teddy Burriss Social Networking Pro
You can only reap the benefits of networking if you put forth deliberate effort with focus.
Deliberate means “doing something consciously and intentionally.” Focus means to “pay particular attention to.”
Often when people head off to networking events they do so believing they are there to find a new business opportunity, leads, referrals or a job. Even though this could be their primary purpose in life, career, business or community, it’s not the primary purpose of networking.
Being focused on your primary purpose while networking is akin to searching for a needle in a haystack. It could be there, but the likelihood of finding it is minuscule and it’s a waste of time.
If however while networking you focus deliberately on meeting new people and having unique and diverse conversations, regardless of the relevance to your primary purpose, you will be more successful.
Get to know the people you are meeting, what they are interested in and how you could help them. Never forget, networking is all about making new connections and building relationships.
It’s these new connections and developing relationships that will help you with your primary purpose(s) in life, career, business or community. You’ll discover how, only after you have focused deliberately on making the connections and building the relationships.
Repeat after me, “Networking is all about making connections and building relationships.”
I’m not implying that you should leave your primary purpose in the car when you are networking. Just don’t focus on it so much that you lose out on making a great connection, hearing a fantastic idea or a new perspective that can create great value for you.
If you’re focused on your primary purpose;
You’re not going to meet that new connection who has a personal friend who can help you.
You’re not going to hear about a new business in town that needs your skills and experiences doing something quite differently than you could have imagined your skills being used for.
You’re not going to meet that new connection who personally needs your help and afterwards is willing to share an idea that will positively change your life beyond anything you could ever imagine.
You’re not going to meet that person who wants to help you any way they can, because they see that you are willing to do the same for others.
Keep your primary purpose in the back of your mind while networking because you do need to pay attention to how the people, conversations and ideas discovered can benefit you.
However, never deviate from the primary purpose of networking, “making new connections and building relationships.”
As you build relationships you will get permission to talk about your primary purpose and further discover how the people and ideas you learn can help you.
Be deliberate, be focused and network to make new connections and build relationships. Afterwards consider how these connections and relationships relate to your primary purpose.