Business networking is much more than showing up at networking functions, shaking a lot of hands and collecting a bunch of cards.
For example, imagine two people attending an event, sizing it up and drawing an imaginary line down the middle. They separate, each taking half the room. At the end of the event, they meet again to see who’s collected the most business cards.
Have you met these people? Sure you have. We all have. What did they accomplish? They collected a lot of cards that will end up on a shelf, in a drawer, in the trash, or–worse yet–scanned into a computer so they can spam everyone they just met. Why? What does a business card represent? It’s a piece of paper, with ink and images on it. No relationship has been formed. This networking strategy, by itself, isn’t an effective use of time, money or energy.
Networking for business growth must be strategic and focused. Not everyone you meet can help move your business forward–but everything you do can be driven by the intention to grow your business. You have total control over whom you meet, where you meet them and how you develop and leverage relationships for mutual benefit.