I was asked the other day, “what my purpose is” when I network. I must confess that I was a little confused by the question, until I realized that I was being asked the question by someone who is used to a completely different style of networking to the one that I tend to engage in.
You see for him networking was usually done as an entertaining social sort of thing, where people chatted genteelly around a table with a cup of tea in one hand and a sticky bun of sorts in the other. Where people smiled politely at one another and made small talk about the weather, the cricket/rugby/soccer, the latest fashion and who was doing what to whom on a regular basis.
This kind of ‘networking’ for me is quite simply, ‘a no go’. You see I am in the Business of Business to make a profit, making money is easy, but making a profit – well that is an entirely different thing altogether (but that is another story for another time). In order for me to make a profit, I need to grow my business – slowly but surely, one step at a time.
For me to grow my business, I need to look for opportunities, and believe me there are an abundance of them all around, it’s just a question of recognizing them and then doing something with them.
For me, the easiest way to search for opportunities, is at a networking event, where people are serious about doing business and who are hungry to find opportunities.
So for me, understanding my purpose for being at a specific type of networking meeting is of the utmost importance.
Therefore the purpose for me attending a networking meeting is to meet people, and build relationships with them. It is to search for opportunities, whether they are for me as an individual, or a possible Joint Venture, or a Strategic Alliance, or even to see an opportunity for a business colleague and/or friend and/or client.
These opportunities and relationships, will allow me to grow my own business, and provide a ‘value add’ to both my clients and my colleagues.
For me, this is a win, win & win again situation.
So now, what was the question again . . . . . .