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How Would You Handle This?

By Nancy Roebke
Posted Saturday, January 22, 2005

We have been talking about choosing groups to participate in that meet your needs and goals as a business professional. Once the decision is made on which groups to belong to, then a certain level of participation is required in order to achieve the individual goals set by the business professional.

Whenever I attend a function, I always have a goal of meeting ten people whom I do not already know, and finding out how I can best help them in their business. What happens, though if, when I enter the function, someone who I already know, approaches me and begins a lengthy conversation that could best be handled at a different time and place? How do I break away to complete my goal of meeting ten new people?

This has happened to me frequently and I have found this technique to work well. As soon as there is a break in the conversation, I let the person I am listening to know that I need to excuse myself, because I must meet some new people to accomplish the goal I came to the function for. I usually say what the goal is- to meet 10 new people. I also state that I would be happy to continue our conversation as soon as I have "hit my quota", ( I always say that with a smile), and also offer to continue the conversation at a later time if necessary.

The idea that someone would come to a networking function with a specific goal in mind is foreign to many participants. I suggest that you have a goal for all functions that you participate in . It is an easy way to track accomplishments. If my goal is to meet 10 people and I have a certain amount of time to work with, I know how much time I can devote to each person to accomplish my goal.

There is no reason to walk away from a networking function with unfulfilled goals because someone that couldn't help you accomplish your goals monopolized your time.

Your goal may be to meet a specific person who you know would be able to help you, if you had a chance to speak with them and build a relationship with them. Next week, I'll tell you how to break into "cliques" that may be formed around the person you would like to meet.

About the Author
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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