Networking effectively-The preparation can make all of the difference

As I reflect on this Saturday morning I am getting my batteries recharged after a great week of work and networking.  It has been a great year thus far and we are very blessed to see things continuing to head in a positive direction for our firm.

I always have ideas running through my mind and one that scampered through recently is something I will share with this brief post today.

Networking is a vital activity for anyone, anywhere, anytime.

What many don’t do well is preparing for networking.  Just showing up is not enough, or not as much as it could be.

I have proven to myself on many occasions that a little homework and prework can make a substantial difference in the effectiveness of your networking activities.

I speak on this subject often and try to blend the value of traditional, person to person networking with the capabilities of the online social networking that I spend a little of my time with.

The most valuable thing you can do prior to any networking activity is to do a little homework on the venue you will be in to learn who will be there and what their background and experience might be.

I tell the story often of a meeting I had with a potential client a few years ago.  Prior to the meeting I learned that this individual had attended the University of Alabama and the University of Tennessee.  When we first met and shook hands I commented that I didn’t know whether to say “Go Vols” or “Rammer Jammer”.  If you don’t live in the south or follow SEC football then this situation will have no meaning to you.  The bottom line is this; you need to know more than who you are when you go about learning more about others.  Your willingness to learn more and to come prepared will show that you can do the little things well on the front end and it could lead to a more meaningful business relationship.  It will often spell the difference between success and failure.

Do your homework prior to networking.

I know you will see the difference on the scoreboard.

Have a great weekend.