A recent teleclass on "Networking that Produces Results Every Time" produced questions that I rarely get a chance to address except in a workshop or coaching session. Here are some of the questions that came up. Here are my thoughts...feel free to add your own comments!
1. How many people do you talk to at an event. Say there are 40 attendees (like a WEO meeting), how many new people do you speak to? On average, how long do you speak to each person?
My philosophy is that networking is about quality not quantity. Time is still of the essence but collecting a handful of cards that have no meaningful connection is not the goal.
I set a goal to make 3 quality connections at every event. I go prepared to ask questions that will help me create one of six potential successful outcomes. (See blog post "Networking that Produces Results Every Time" )
I plan to speak to each person 3-5 minutes and ask intelligent directed questions that will determine the next course of actionI follow up with those 3 people.
I may meet more and hope to have significant conversation. Depending on your business goal, you will determine what is significant for you.
2. What are some nice ways to disengage and move on?
1. If you've ever been stuck with a person who is self-promoting, selling you something, or in general, new to networking, this is your opportunity to model how good networking is done. Some techniques that have been successful for me are...a.)
a) I will ask (I may have to tactfully interrupt) who they would like to meet at the event and see if I can make an introduction.b.)
b)If they are in heavy "sales" mode, I will interrupt and gracefully let them know I am probably not a prospect for them. Since I know they are at the event to network I will let them mingle with other folks.
We've all be stuck in uncomfortable situations networking. My fellow net-workers, what are some of your suggestions?