I appreciate that this may seem a rhetorical question, but honestly ask yourself what your is goal when you are out networking. Are you just out for the socialising in the hope you may meet someone that may need your business or be a useful contact? Progressing on from our last Networking 101 post on how to filter prospects from suspects. You need to have you a plan of action with clearly defined goals and strategy for your networking or else your activity will be haphazard and a waste of your valuable time, as you will only be grazing in the networking pastures of suspects.
If you haven’t already, set yourself some goals for your networking activity.
Ask yourself the following 3 questions:
- What are you trying to achieve with your networking?
- Who do you want or need to meet?
- How will you know when you have achieved these goals?
I can assure you that if you can answer these questions clearly you will be on the road to networking with a purpose. Remember the main reason why some people achieve their networking targets is that they are absolutely clear about their goals and objectives and do not deviate from them.
What defines and differentiates a networking goal from a business development goal? Are your networking goals your business development goals? Unfortunately not. Many people either don’t have networking goals or they assume they have networking goals because they know their new business targets. Your networking goals need to be very specific and with this in mind you should be able to achieve your business objectives.
For instance a networking goal to generate £5k of business via your business network every month is not a networking goal, it is a business development goal, in order to create a networking goal to achieve your business development targets you need to think about the activity that needs to be achieved to generate this return. It is simple really, your networking goals should contain reference to your network.
Here is an example of how you can map this out.
- Goal 1: By Q1 in Year 1, I will have generated new business via my inner circle and top 3 clients.
- Goal 2: By Q2 date in Year 1, I will have added 5 more A-lister to my inner circle from my top client introductions.
- Goal 3: By Q3 date in Year 1, I will have delivered a minimum of 5 client and new prospect workshops.
- Goal 4: By Q4 date in Year 1, I will have a minimum of 10 new clients from my networking activity.
The more specific your network goals, the easier it is to focus on your efforts. Remember, a failure to plan is a plan for failure.