New Isn’t Always Better

Alright, it is time to go to your networking event.

You are all psyched up – cards in hand – ready to make some connections.

You have been attending this event for a couple of months now, so you already know a few people in the room.

Let’s say there are 50 people at the event and you know 5 of them.

Who do you focus on?

Many approach this like the samples in the aisles at Costco – make a meal of as many small bites (new connections) as possible!

Provide the cursory hello to the people you have met before, and then go for the new meat.

Name, handshake, pitch, card, repeat. Name, handshake, pitch, card, repeat.

Man – you are rocking this networking event!

You may even follow up with some of the people you introduced yourself to this time…

Yikes – there is a better way!

Think back to my previous post, when I provided you with an intention to meet one new person at the event.

That’s it.

Just one.

So what should you do with the rest of your time?

Foster the relationships you have already established.

Keep working on those friendships.

It is about solidifying and deepening the relationships with people you know, and sometimes you won’t even want to meet any new people at all (gasp!).

Be part of the crowd, really get to know people.

I mean, if you are going to have a networking home…

Shouldn’t it feel like home when you come in?

Yes, you will (and should) continue to meet new people, but it needs to be about more than that.

Bonus time: when you have found a great group that really fits you, it will feel like getting together with your friends for social hour (awesome)!

Super bonus time: sometimes you really can have happy hour after these events with the genuine friends you have met (cosmos for everyone!)

Or maybe I want a lemon drop…

But, I digress…

Before you go to the event, think about who you want to spend most of your time with.

And, whatever you do, be authentically interested.

Don’t just ask questions about work (yawn).

Ask people about their lives.

Find out what they have been up to.

What is important to them?

What do they like to do when they aren’t working?

Ask lots of questions and… now this part is key… listen and retain the information provided to you. The more you can know someone, the more real friendship begins. And friendships lead to long term, prosperous, mutually beneficial relationships.

P.S. Do you have a go-to question you ask people to help establish a solid relationship? Please share it in the comments.

Until then… stay passionate!

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