Recently the 10 essential principles of business networking were posted to the 30SecondsGo! Blog. So far we shared details about #1 Elevator Speech, #2 Be Different, #3 Be a Giver, and #4 Keep Your Integrity. This week we are sharing more about principle #5 Relevance
5. seek relevant groups and connections
Identify and target groups and connections which are relevant to your aims and capabilities.
Relevance can be according to several different criteria, for example:
Social grouping (e.g., ethnic, gender, age, seniority, etc)
Political or religious grouping
Trade or society grouping
Academic or technical grouping
Specific organized networking/referrals groups
Other common interest (e.g., social enterprise, environmental, Fair Trade, etc.)
The more relevant your targeting of groups and contacts, the more useful your meetings and referrals will be.
Other professional people can be important networking contacts. Direct your targeting beyond obvious business people and obvious networking groups, but be mindful of the nature of the group, and conduct yourself appropriately.
Consider how different groups and networks operate, online and elsewhere. Be aware of the group’s needs, expectations, rules (official and unofficial), and membership composition (formal or entirely random), and adapt your style and methods accordingly.
Certain non-business professional people can be a huge influence in networks, and greatly trusted because of their neutrality and professional standing – educators and scientists, for example. Journalists, surgeons, and magistrates, also. There are many others. It is not easy to make connections with these people through conventional business networking, but remember that a network is not only made of business-people, and be aware of these non-commercial connections when the chance comes.
If you find that your networking is producing very low opportunities for follow up and referral, try to improve your targeting. In other words, find different groups and methods.
Avoid going aimlessly after every networking opportunity which comes your way; instead try to find networks which already function well or have the potential to do so; consider and decide which sort of groups and contacts will be most helpful for your aims and capabilities – ideally remembering that you need to be able to help them, as well as they should be able to help you.
Within most networks people tend to have a few close and trusted connections. Choose these, your most trusted and closest associates, very carefully. Reputations are built according to your chosen contacts, in addition to how you yourself behave. The old expression is generally true: “You can tell a man by the company he keeps…” (Or woman of course.) So focus your efforts on groups and connections of integrity, as well as relevance.
Coaching and connecting people is part of how we support our clients at 30 Second Success. We work closely with clients to create a clear, concise message that connects with confidence. The ability to convert contacts into clients through your messaging is powerful. We help you take those opportunities to share your elevator speech and turn them into great networking connections. Call today for more information 215.801.6750