Here is my review of the second part of the Portland Business Alliance networking event I attended last week. After the main networking session, Kathie Nelson from Networking for Busy People did a short workshop. Her main networking points were:
- Get clear about what makes you unique in the language of the target customer
- Get focused about who is your target market. Who is your ideal customer?
- Get partners who share your target market
- Get connected in your business community. Be visible, credible and follow-up
If you think about it, the first two points should be core to your business anyway. If you can’t describe your target market nor why they should hire you or buy your product then it will be hard to network. If you are looking for leads but can’t describe the kind of leads you want then who knows what kind of leads you will get, if any!
Which lead to a point that Kathie made which I thought was interesting. We don’t just network for leads but also to find resources in our extended team as well as finding out about events and other organizations that might be of help.
Kathie emphasized that “Networking is not about selling but is about the power of connecting for mutual benefit”.
I liked her last quote which was not one of hers (but I don’t remember whose it was!):
“success is adding value to ourselves but significance is adding value to others”
At the end of the day, networking is like many other things in life. As much as we would like it to be all about us, it isn’t. If you network only for what you get out of it, you won’t be successful. You have to be helpful to others in order for them to want to be helpful to you.