Dr. Renate Volpe, in her nugget cards entitled “Networking Tips” says:
“Identify specific events such as industry association gatherings, ward or academic evening which you can attend.”
In 2005, after I attended my first networking meeting I was so wound up and amazed by the number of opportunities that, that one meeting opened up for me that I ended up running around like a Dura-cell bunny!
I went to every single meeting I could find, I pestered people into setting up meetings with me and was devastated when they did not pitch. In short, I ran myself ragged, running here and there and all over the place without any sort of plan in my mind except that I had to network and connect with people. Not a good idea hey?
Once I calmed down though, I realized that I needed to be more selective. So instead of going to everything that was happening, I started attending functions and meetings that were attended by like minded individuals who were closer to home. So that meant small business owners in the Cresta area. I further curtailed my ‘30 meter dash to the middle of whatever is happening’ by also slowing down on the number of meetings that I went to. I started having a ‘meeting day’ so that I was left with time and space in which to do my work and not be interrupted every two hours to dash off to a meeting.
I found that I could comfortably cope with four meetings a month, anymore than that I couldn’t cope with the number of ‘one-on-one’ meetings after the event that I insist on, to start building the relationships needed before any business was conducted.
As I experimented and found my feet, I targeted more and more events that would encourage the type of person that I wanted to do business with and only met with individuals who truly wanted to meet and do business with me.
Slowly, but surely I have built up a huge network that continues to grow on a daily basis. I have met some incredible people, some of whom are extremely influential and well connected, but who remain people who want to make a difference. I have referred many, many people who have ended up doing great business as a direct result of those referrals and yes, I have also met a few sharks along the way. In life, those are to be expected from time to time.
So, start at the beginning – go to events that are likely to attract, like minded individuals and grow from there.
For more information on Renate, please visit her website at www.drrenatevolpe.co.za