It’s obvious that having the right contacts is beneficial for personal and/or business promotion. But when you’re out networking how do you know you’re talking to the “right” person? It’s a good idea to be on the lookout for businesses that compliment yours. For example, commercial lenders and accountants are professions I keep an eye out for. They have something in common with me. They consistently deal with entrepreneurs and small businesses and have the potential to send me numerous referrals over time. Having said that, here’s my advice on networking in large groups. Talk to everyone! Don’t worry too much about talking to the “right” person. It’s good to keep an eye out for individuals in certain industries, but unless you have a detailed list of each individual in attendance and can scope out nametags and find the individuals you’re looking for, you probably won’t talk to the “right” person every time you’re out networking. Even if you do meet the “right person” there’s no guarantee that you’ll “click” and develop a mutually beneficial relationship. So just take your time, relax and talk naturally to those surrounding you. You never know, the “wrong” individual you’re talking to might end up knowing the “right” people.
Here’s a tip for those individuals who don’t feel comfortable with networking. Its okay if you’re an introvert and shy when meeting new people. Take your time and attend networking events on a regular basis. Many individuals will come up to you and introduce themselves. Overtime you’ll find an approach that you’re comfortable with and find something that works for you. At the end of the day, just be yourself. You will “click” with certain individuals and you won’t with others. Remember, networking involves building a relationship. And like any relationship, networking takes time but it’s worth the effort.