Networking – is an important word from the business affairs’ dictionary. It perfectly captures the notion of professional interactions, exchange of information and ideas in informal social settings. It is a perfect tool that allows to bring a business project to the next level. Organized as informal, stress-free and pleasant gatherings, network events help to facilitate contacts between like-minded professionals and serve as preliminary grounds for the development of new business partnerships. Yet, the pleasant and relaxed atmosphere of network events can be misleading. If we want to get the most of it for our business plans, we need to be well prepared for such sort of events. Once we have set up our goal and worked out a clear strategy for an event, we can indeed relax and enjoy the pleasure of seeing new faces, meeting new friends and dreaming about new business prospects.
A networking event was such a good pastime...
Sometimes the best strategy is the avoidance of bad strategies. In this article, we offer you to look at networking from the ironic point of view, heeding our hero who was misled by the restful ambiance of the networking event. Let’s imagine a certain businessman N who is planning to attend an evening network event. Our hero has great plans for the event. He dreams of meeting a lot of important people who will help to boost his new project. He is also keen to visit the event’s bar and taste its buffet as he has heard some particularly good recommendations concerning network events organized at this venue. Upon his arrival, our hero feels confused seeing unknown people in great numbers and decides that the best strategic location for networking is near a buffet line. He heads directly there, picking up a glass of wine from one of the waiters. While reflecting on the best strategy for new contacts, our friend continues consuming food and drinks. Suddenly, an impressively looking man appears next to him. Introductions and small talks are made, hands shaken and business cards exchanged. Our hero is very happy. The networking goal is reached: he has got an important contact for his future business project. Unfortunately, neither a next day nor a next week an impressively looking businessman makes any attempt to contact our hero. Our hero is surprised. And you? Are you surprised that our hero has never got to present his extraordinary project to an impressively looking businessman?
… What has gone wrong then?
1). He was as much interested in food, as in meeting prospective partners;
2). He wasn’t moderate with his drinks;
3). He hasn’t given much of a thought about the focus of a given network event: Does it fit in with his business project? Whom would he be able to meet there?
4). He was a passive networker, merely waiting when someone approached him;
5). The entire network event was perceived as a pastime rather than as a chance to get to a new business level;
6). He didn’t have a proper vision of what to suggest to a potential client;
7). He didn’t do his homework: there was no elevator pitch that would make him an interesting contact.
Have you noticed his missteps? Our hero is definitely a big dreamer. Yet, his passive attitude and badly chosen networking strategies won’t help his dreams to become a reality and promote his business. But he is not alone. Aren’t we all from time to time use these “great” failing strategies to some extent? Yet, if we want that our networking brings effective results, we need to avoid these “great” failing strategies at all costs.
Next time you attend a networking event, take a moment to prepare yourself and choose your strategies wisely. And then, your dreams have all chances to come true.
Our next Premium Business Networking Event is taking place on October 17th, 2019 in Zürich. See you in the Dolder Grand.
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players…”
(W. Shakespeare, As You Like It)
We believe that each and every one of us is not only a leading actor but first and foremost a writer of our own destiny. Overwhelmed by life events, we may unintentionally forget that we are the sole playwrights of our own lives. We may even unwittingly drop or lose the thread of our unfolding life story. Then, we start questioning ourselves and let others do the writing for us. Doesn’t this happen to all of us occasionally? The best thing we can do is to resume the leadership as soon as we can: only we should write the play of our life!
With the renewed confidence and new skills, we design new perspectives. Coaching and training are the best instruments we use to achieve this goal.