Networking 101- Know What you Want

Last week was super interesting. I met a bunch of new people and went to some neat events.  I learned a lot of new information and while it was fun (and just a bit glamorous), I am not sure anything else will come of it.

I am at a point in my life where, if I am doing a “business” thing, it had better result in some value.  I am not expecting every lunch to bring me a million dollars but it should at least give me a new connection or gem of info that I can leverage into something of value.

My lunch date on Thursday helped me understand this.  He said that he is often approached to help out someone from his alma mater or a former colleague.  His door is always open but he finds it frustrating when people are not clear what they want or need from him.

He said that if he is going invest time, then there needs to be something he can actually do for the person. He said these encounters are best when the person says “Thanks for spending some time with me.  I am here at point A and in order to get to point B, I need an introduction to this person who is between me and point B. Can you help with that?”

That direction allows him to agree to the intro and to put some context and advice around it.  Everyone walks away feeling good.

See?  No commercial value there but there is the satisfaction of knowing that you helped in a concrete fashion.

That lightning bolt made me realize that I need to spend time planning what I want from an event/conversation/meeting.  This week, I have prepared for each of my meetings by using his formula.

I am at point A and I want to get to point B.  You can help me by doing this and/or this.

Of course, the conversation covers more ground, but I am work hard to keep my goal/outcome in mind as we meander through the civilities and humour and interruptions.

What strategies do you use to get what you need?

Leave a comment

Filed under career change, Networking

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s