The Value of Connecting

“I am so tired of going to business meetings that turn into social event – they are a waste of time”.

Attending a networking event or business meeting is only as valuable as you make it. Many of us tire of attending events where we feel it turns into a social event – and we wonder at the value we receive by attending. Sure we may get a meal, or free drink or snacks – but let’s be realistic – it takes time out of our schedules and costs money too.

On the flip side, if you sit all day in your office hoping to make the right connections – you may grow roots instead of your business. And so with that in mind, many of us dress up, get out and meet new people, old friends and make the connections that may help us or others. There are a few things you can do to make sure that your networking is effective.

Go with a purpose

If you go with a specific purpose in mind you are less likely to wander aimlessly about the room meeting no one in particular. Before you go to the meeting, see if you can look on a website or find information about the theme of the meeting, who will be there, and how that might relate to you. Write down one connection or person you want to meet at the event and see if you can fulfill that purpose.

Ask for what you need

When talking with others, those you have just met and those you already know –ask for what you need. If you are looking for a specific supplier, ask around. If there is a new grant, by-law, event you need to know more about, ask others if they know. I recently learned a key piece of information I had been searching for, for months, from a lady at a meeting. What a shortcut that was to hours of research!

Don’t try to make a sale, educate a potential client.

Do not ever go to a meeting with the idea of selling something. Go with the idea of educating people about the benefits they receive by doing business with you. Make a date to meet later or ask to touch base later by phone.

Look for alliances

There will be many people at this meeting who could potentially be a great alliance for you. No man or woman is an island. Many great businesses evolved as a result of a chance meeting. You do not have to form a partnership, but look for ways that you could share a trade show booth, or newsletter information. Help someone, and let them help you out too.

Ask how you can help connect another

Asking another person who you can connect them to is a great way to break the ice. Ask others about themselves and what they do. Then see if you could connect them to someone who might want their product or service. People never forget you when you do that, you become a connector for them and they do in turn eventually talk to others about you.

Make it a habit

It can become a habit to sit in the office. Break that habit and make it your goal to get out once a week to one place or another. Even businesses owners that have a store front benefit from getting out to meet new people. Last week we invited a florist to a meeting – she made several new contacts who – now that they know her will visit her store.

Have fun

Business starts out as fun – when we first begin. But as the little details of business ‘get to us’ – it loses its fun. Getting out to a meeting once a week makes us get dressed up a bit, be sociable, laugh a little and have some fun. Your business may be a serious one, but everyone needs a little humour in their week.

Networking meetings are what you make them. There is such value in meeting new people and building relationships through networking. We all need to connect- so get out there and make those connections. No Excuses!

Did you know Roaring women offers many opportunities to connect. Have you connected with any other business women in our social community? Why not follow some other business women or message them and say hello!

Join roaring women to access our interactive social community and connect with like minded women in business.


Mandie Crawford is a marketing expert, business coach, trainer and motivational speaker who was recently awarded Calgary Business Woman of the Year for her contributions to the business community.

Mandie also has skills and expertise in providing high quality guidance in time management and system implementation for small a medium sized businesses. Her passion as a business and professional development coach is to helps women recognize their value and self worth.

She is the Preside...

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