marketing+sales: Intentional Networking
To attract more success in business, you don't have to network more; you just have to network more intentionally. This means becoming more focused, engaging, trusted and memorable. And not necessarily with more people, but with "your people"—the people who naturally bring the most value into your world. Networking success boils down to nine critical steps. Derived from Patti DeNucci's book, "The Intentional Networker: Attracting Powerful Relationships, Referrals & Results in Business," they are presented below.
1. Know yourself. It is not selfish or narcissistic to practice self-awareness. This involves knowing your strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, passions, preferences and traits. Knowing yourself is a key component to creating success and building connections. It breeds authenticity, enthusiasm and discernment, which helps others see and "get" the real you more readily.
2. Know what you want. If you are vague, ambivalent or scattered, or unsure of your vision, intention and goals, then you are likely drifting along, preserving the status quo, and you may be invisible to others. Clarity and focus go a long way toward helping you become more memorable, which in turn means others are clearer and more focused on how to help you.
3. Show up in alignment with the above two points. Everything about you, from your attitude and appearance to your correspondence and conversation, gives off messages. What's more, you have mere seconds to make a first impression. If your image doesn't line up with whom you say you are and what you aspire to, it can result in confusion, disengagement and distrust. Be sure everything associated with you and your career or business is congruent with who you are and what you want.
4. Focus on quality, not quantity. Rather than adding more people to your network, invest some time identifying your most valuable connections—the ones who not only bring you referrals and opportunities, but also provide you with valuable insights, information and support. The same goes for your networking activities. Which ones bring energy, value and results to your career or business? Compile a list of the traits that make these top people and events valuable to you. Note how you originally met or heard about them. This information will help you recognize and attract more of the same.