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How to Win at Networking

Posted on March 5, 2015 under Career & Work, Entrepreneurs

One Simple Rule to Score with Influencers

It's that time again for my inner college basketball freak to re-emerge. March Madness brings out a competitive spirit while mercifully ending long and cold winters.

This year my beloved Villanova Wildcats are ranked #4 in the NCAA. We're now on the doorstep of the Big East Tournament and of course The Big Dance.

Here I am at a home game three years ago.

But what I enjoy the most about basketball is its sophisticated simplicity.

It's all about knowing how to score. That's it. Having a maniacal focus on shooting at the hoop and sinking the ball. Nothin' but net.

Of course, there's a lot of fancy footwork, suave passing, and trash talking along the way, but absolutely no one on the floor is confused about the objective…get in the paint, shoot, and swish.

However, in the game of networking, there seems to be a ton of confusion about how to make an impact. Much attention is paid to “getting out there”, where to find people, what to do and say, etc.

All these worries are valid concerns, but you won't ever score if you don't know what you're playing for. Here's the one rule to follow to make an impact with influencers…

Begin with the end in mind.

Dead simple. Know why you're showing up in the first place and you'll walk away a winner every time.

Note how this has nothing to do with wearing the right clothes, being charming, or recounting the latest gossip about the Kardashians.

Knowing the outcome you want to create is all you need. Your outcome(s) might be:

As you know, the Northeast has been hammered with snow this winter. It's been pretty darn unappealing to leave home or the office to go anywhere unnecessary.

Getting the motivation to show up at networking events has been incredibly low. Especially when the New York City streets are a flowing river of frozen slush.

Your desired outcome provides the fuel for your energy and acts as your inner guidepost for the gathering.

This will determine if you say “yes” or “no” to attending in the first place, and then when you arrive your attitude will be in check during the course of the event. Your expectations will be met and/or exceeded.

This also helps you to avoid getting stuck with the wrong people at the wrong time, and how to call in the people that suit you best. If someone is yammering on about a topic that doesn't match your objective then wrap it up quickly but politely.

Knowing what you want saves you time, money, and anguish while bringing you infinitely closer to your goals.

What is the outcome you want to create in networking?

Send me your thoughts…


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