Advice:How to set your networking goals

By , published on 7th January 2011

If your networking lacks purpose, then you’ll find yourself at the wrong events, talking to the wrong people and having the wrong conversations. If that’s you, then it’s your fault! This article, and the three part series on The Networking Strategy ‘Trinity’ will help you define and execute a formidable networking plan that will ensure you maximise your valuable time and resources... Here is the first article in that series if you’ve not yet read it: The Networking Strategy ‘Trinity’ Pt 1. Strong networking goals are set after you’ve defined your strategy. There are two types:

1.  Strategic goals. These are aligned to your strategy and are clearly defined statements of intent such as:

  • In 90 days I will have met the Managing Directors of seven [named] companies.
  • In a month I will have met Mr X or Ms Y.
  • In the next six weeks I will have met and followed up with three professionals in my region with a view to positioning referrals and introductions.
  • In six months I want all 10 members of the board to know exactly who I am and what my burning ambition is.

2. Tactical goals. These are aligned to a particular event you plan to attend. They are measurable almost as you walk out of the door. Some examples:

  • Today I want to meet three interesting people.
  • For this event, I’m going to collect five good business cards.
  • For this event to be successful, I will have four conversations with potential prospects.
  • Today I want to meet Mr X and Ms Y.
  • Today I want to ensure I’m seen by…

Once you begin setting good goals for your networking that are aligned to your Networking Strategy, you’re in the best possible position to make your networking work! These goals should be like all goals you set. That means…

  1. Measurable. It should be easy to see when you’ve achieved it.
  2. Specific. Anything vague like ‘raising my profile’ simply won’t work.
  3. Relevant. Make sure these are your goals, not just the goals of someone else FOR YOU.

Your goals should be wrapped around the following five areas:

  1. The number of events you want to attend over a certain period of time.
  2. The kind of events you want to focus on.
  3. The outcomes of your individual events and wider campaigns.
  4. The kind of people you want to meet.
  5. The amount of time and travel you are prepared to put into your networking.

Once you begin to get more clever about what you’re doing and why, and how to measure your results, you’ll find your three Ps of Profile, Productivity and Profit will explode!

Rob’s Quick Tips

Setting good strong goals around both individual events and wider networking campaigns is a sign of a professional networker. You know by now the characteristics of good goal setting, and this applies to your networking as much as any other part of your personal and business development.

Split your goals into two areas:

  1. Strategic – relating to a wider campaign and aligned to your general business strategy.
  2. Tactical – relating to outcomes of a particular event or situation.

Finally, if you’ve not given much thought to your networking strategy, come to my Networking Strategy Masterclass>>

< See all advice

Rob Brown

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown is one of the UK's leading authorities on business networking and referrals. He is an inspirational conference speaker and author of over 40 publications, including Amazon best-seller How To Build Your Reputation and the free ebook: 'The 13 Commandments of Turning Relationships Into Profits'

Post a new comment