In today’s busy world of non-stop networking, one must really evaluate where they go to network because our time is so valuable. Intentional networking to build connections is about considering the following three keys.
1. Evaluate why you are going to the event. What is your strategy for going and what do you hope to achieve? It should not be networking to just network because all you will accumulate will be business cards that will sit on your credenza. Intentional networking is being purposeful in your actions and making sure you connect with the people you talk to.
2. Get comfortable not giving out business cards. Everyone you meet is not a connection for you or anyone in your extended network. Clearly sometimes you know their is no connection, yet their is the exchange of cards for the sake of exchanging cards that might make it home to sit in a pile with all the other cards you have gotten or it might get to the trash can before you leave the event. It is okay to talk with business colleagues and not exchange cards. If their is no connection, nothing will happen anyway. If this one makes you uneasy, carry on as before.
3. Go for quality not quantity. It is not about how many people you talked to and exchanged cards with; but about the quality of the conversation and the connections made. I would rather connect with three key people at an event than talk to 20 people where their was no connection. When you know why you are attending and what you hope you achieve; this is so much easier to do.
More insights on intentional networking to come in the near future. In the meantime, have fun with INTENTIONAL NETWORKING!