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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Business Network Might be Great for Leads but You May Be Wasting Your Time

Do you attend business-networking events in order to collect
business leads that can open doors for you? Well, you may be
wasting your time. Let me explain.

In my book, No Condition is Permanent, I talk about being a
small fish in a big pond. I even share some excellent tips

on how to swim with the big fish. But, my first advice to
you is to rethink your business networking strategy.

You should ask yourself the following questions: "Can the
connections I am making really help me to get ahead? Am I
swimming in the right pond with the right fish?"

Now, I am not saying that some of the people in the circle
may not turn out to be a good resource for you. But you may
want to reach for a level where those contacts have never
been before.

So, avoid networking with people who are hassling you to get
your business, or those who just want something from you.
Networking is truly about creating long-term relationships
that can pull you up. Now, notice I am talking about making
connections versus getting favors. All relationships should
be a two-way street, both personal and professional.

You should seek out influential people who can swing some
doors open for you, and help you get where you want to go.
You need to push forward in order to get ahead.

Here's how to do so:

1. Do something to get on the radar of those in a position
to assist you. Speaking for the National Speakers
Association automatically put me in touch with Les Brown,
Mark Victor Hansen, and the like. Okay, you may not be in a
position to write a book or keynote a big conference yet. But
I'm certain there's something you can do to move your own
career along. All it takes is a little thinking outside the box -
a little creativity.

2. Instead of attending business networking events to
collect business leads, become a private investigator. Do a
little investigating to find out what challenge the people
whose radar you are trying to get on are facing. Then write
an article about the challenge or problem and offer some
solutions. Send the article to a key player in your field.
You only need one key contact to introduce you to the rest
of the people in that group. Does that make sense to you?
You may even have an idea to help raise money and awareness
for a cause that you know is important to the people you are
trying to reach. Contact them and let them know about it.

3. Brainstorm for ideas. Here's a clever way to come up with
ideas that can help you contact a key influencer: Take a
piece of paper and write your goals across the top of it;
then jot down every way you might be able to make the
connection. Be outrageous. Go for it!

But remember, as you strive to make those meaningful
contacts, definitely be available to be a meaningful contact
to someone else. And I am dead serious about that. Success
is also a two-way street. You must have one hand reaching
for the top and another reaching to help pull someone up
from the bottom.

I wish you incredible success!

Rene Godefroy

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