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Choosing Networking Functions

By Nancy Roebke
Posted Saturday, January 22, 2005

Time is a concern for all of us. We only have so much of it to give to our work, and then some to our families, our churches and some to ourselves. In today's business climate it is essential to spent our time wisely to maximize our productivity and satisfaction with our lives.

One way that you can ascertain that the time you spend networking is most effective for you and the accomplishment of your goals is to choose your functions for networking strategically. This involves deciding on goals for your networking time and then seeking groups and functions that are geared toward the satisfaction of your goals.

If your networking time is to be spent on business development, then you would want to focus your time, energy and financial resources involved with organizations and functions that are, by their design, for business development. Some Chambers of Commerce gatherings, business trade shows, and organized business associations meet for the expressed purpose of finding more business for each other.

The people who attend these functions are there for the same reason you are - to meet new people, make new contacts, and generate more revenue. If you end up at a function that is more "social" in nature, and you are trying to do business, you will become very frustrated. Social functions are fun and relaxing, but a person trying to do business or make contacts there, could be very disappointed. If people are not in a "business frame of mind", doing business with them will be impossible.

A clue to whether the function is "business" or "social" can often be found in the time of day that the function is held. Many "after-hours" functions, although billed as business-development functions, really are not set up to do business. If there is a non-structured agenda, than the chances are likely that this function will be a "wind down after the business day" gathering more than one for actually doing business.

Another clue is to read the material that is produced by the organization about the function. What is the Mission Statement? What are the requirements to participate? Who is invited? What kind of marketing was done for the function? All of these will assist you in determining if a function will help you maximize your time and energy.

The desire to be involved with functions that are not just for business has its advantages as well. There is a lot of mentoring, brainstorming and good will generated at civic functions- like Kiwanas, Elks, and Rotary. A person who attends these functions for reasons other than satisfaction of civic and personal goals will be equally as frustrated as the person attending non-business functions and trying to do business. There is a need and a place for both.

If done properly, networking functions bring you closer to satisfaction of your personal and business goals. It is important to view these extra hours as productive. They take away from your family and personal time. They can be easy to skip because of the added amount of self-motivation required to attend them.

Because of this, the quality of people attending these functions for the purposes of networking is higher, so your chances of meeting someone who can really help you are greater. Some old sayings never change- birds of a feather still DO flock together....

Nancy Roebke, is the Executive Director of Profnet Inc, a professional business leads generation corporation. We bring business professionals together in a non-competitive environment to help each other make more money. (

Copyright c Nancy Roebke


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