Networking isn’t about who is in the room, it’s about who they know. Rumor has it that the average human being knows 250 people. When you attend a networking event….there might be 40-50 people in the room. For sake of argument, let’s say this hypothetical event has 50 attendees.
When you enter this networking event, you need to asses who is in attendance and try to find the right people to talk to. You don’t want to be that pez dispenser! Find 2-6 people that you don’t know that you can chat with.
The goal…Your goal at this event is to find 2 or 3 quality connections that have a strong network of people, and who might be willing to connect you with them because you are an ideal connection and referral source.
As you begin working the room for these 2-3 people….always start with how you can help them. If you truly care about connecting others, then your time and turn will come, and when it does, it will be a good connection for you.
Focus on getting the 2-3 people to agree to meet for coffee. Here is where you can get much more in depth into their business and start to understand who you can connect them with. When your turn comes, you can then get in depth as well, which will likely result in a strong connection from this person.
OK…so when you look at it on the surface it does matter a little who is in the room, because you want to network with folks that have connections and with folks that understand networking. But you should never look at the folks in the room as your customers. While it’s true that some folks will become your customers….stop looking for customers and start looking for referral sources who will send you multiple referrals in a given year!