I have been networking for many years. I also often speak on networking to companies and organizations across the country.
When it comes to purpose driven topics, first there was Rick Warren’s incredibly successful book called Purpose Driven Life which is one of the bestselling books of all time. The book advocates that we are all here for a purpose and there is a reason for our life’s journey.
This fall, purpose-driven marketing was all the rage at the ANA meetings. Marketers talked about a return to the basics of intensely engaging customers and creating a culture of giving back.
So what is purpose driven networking?
A good networking friend of mine, Andy Berry gave me a book this week called Networking is a Contact Sport by Joe Sweeney. It outlines how staying connected and serving others will help you grow your business, expand your influence or even land your next job.
Sounds like the pay it forward philosophy of Laguna Niguel Connectors which has been practicing that philosophy since its first meeting about 2 years ago with 23 people. Now there are over 2000 networkers in that group. Simple starts can lead generate expediential results.
My theme of one of my first CD’s was how to get more by asking for less and doing more for others.
I had a networking meeting at a Starbucks with a master networker this week. New to the game because he recently ran a large division of a multinational company for the last decade but a quick study in his new world. He talked about networking with a purpose. For him it was a metrics driven approach focused on his target list of companies. He would drill down into the organization through his contacts and other networking introductions and qualify if the organization was an opportunity for him. If they weren’t they were off his list and he moves on to others. Methodical and purpose driven networking.
Makes great sense to me to have a metrics focused purpose driven approach. Too often I think people in transition network with somebody just for the sake of networking or the slim hope that it will lead to something when it isn’t a qualified person. In sales, the individuals who achieve the most focus only on qualified leads and aren’t really into serendipity.
In the coming year I think that more of a purpose driven, metrics and objectives based approach to your networking could generate rewards for many. Most of us have been on Linkedin for years now. Will connecting with a stranger on the other side of the world really help get you that job or that next gig? Is Tweeting to twits going to do much?
So what does Purpose Driven Networking mean to me? I have always said that you need to have objectives for your networking plan.
Don’t go to strangers but mine your past this year. Spend more time this year reconnecting with people you have worked with recently and have known in the past. These don’t have to be recent connections. Besides my current connections, I reconnect with people all the time who I haven’t talked to in years. Intensify the frequency of connecting with them to rekindle that spark of those relationships. The ember of your relationships will already be glowing.
Focus on the “Chosen Few” of the top 25 or 50 people who have impacted your career or your life or offer the most opportunity for you in the coming year. When I work with agencies and firms on New Business Development I always tell them that they must focus their outreach on a target list of companies they would be a great fit for and then pursue those prospects with great vigor and passion.
So who are the people in the past few years who have been the best connectors for you, the best mentors, the best sources of leads, and the optimum source of future New Business? Focus on them.
So here is to a little bit more purpose in our networking activity in the coming year