Too many of us, myself included sometimes, approach networking with first trepidation and then with resignation. Unfortunately, with that approach the results are usually less than satisfactory. One should not just attend a networking function and hope for the best. As in hoping that clients will gravitate to your presence, and you will leave the room with them hanging off your back just like those rainmakers you hear about.

Not a good game plan.

Ford Harding has a couple of posts on networking that got my attention and I thought I would share them with you. His ideas do require some planning, rather than just showing up. In any event here are two ideas I like. Both require a little “stalking” sort of:

  1. If you haven’t been able to identify in advance those individuals you want to seek out, at least have general idea of the type of persons who will be attending and whom you would like to meet. Ford’s idea of walking around the table to get the seat you want by introducing yourself to everyone before you sit down. This allows you to get a look at nametags and identify a likely target you can then sit next to, and
  2. Ask one of the organizers it a particular person you would like to meet is there, and find them before entering the dining area. Then position yourself (or “stalk” the person) so you are able to walk to the same table and grab the seat next to them.

Stalking in this fashion isn’t even a crime, and can turn networking events into a more meaningful and successful business development outing.