Focusing On Your Goals – Part One

by Andy Lopata on July 8, 2014 · 0 comments

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I cannot emphasise enough the importance of setting clear goals if you want an effective referrals strategy. The clearer you are in your own mind about what you are looking for, the better placed you are to communicate those needs to your network and to help them find and convert the opportunities to refer you.

If you are going to attend networking events or join groups, you need to pick the right ones for you and understand what success is going to look like for you.

Your main reasons for selecting a network should be goal-orientated. Ask yourself what it is you want to achieve from attending or from your membership. Apart from new business there are a number of other goals you can set from networking, which I will cover so that you can make the most informed decision possible.

Your goals can be split into two key areas, Business and Self-Development. Business goals include the obvious, tangible benefits such as new business generation and also supply-side benefits, such as sourcing trusted suppliers. A balance sheet has two sides after all!

Less tangible but often equally powerful benefits from networking include local and industry knowledge, feedback on business ideas, profile building and identifying opportunities to collaborate. Each of these plays an important role in building a business, but can be much harder to measure. I always recommend focusing on what is important to you though, if you are not aware of what you need to achieve the opportunities to improve will pass you by.

Self-development goals are often overlooked by people looking to network. When we think of self-development, we automatically tend to look to training courses and books, both of which I naturally feel are important. However, we can learn a lot from other people around us and feed from their support and encouragement. Networking with others has taught me more in the last twelve years than any previous education or work experience.

Look to your networks to help you develop more self-confidence, presentation skills and knowledge. Career development relies on networks to raise your profile, get you talked about and to help you understand what opportunities may lay in store for you.

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See ‘Focusing on your goals – Two’ in Andy’s next article.

Andy Lopata co-presents The Global Networking Show once a month with BNI Founder Ivan Misner.www.globalnetworkingshow.com

Andy Lopata
Labelled ‘Mr Network’ by The Sun, Andy Lopata was called ‘one of Europe’s leading business networking strategists’ by the Financial Times. The co-author of two books on networking, Andy‘s third book, ‘Recommended: How to Sell Through Networking and Referrals’ was published by Financial Times Prentice Hall in July 2011.

 

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