Often we attend networking events with the limited purpose of being available to meet others and re-connect with those we know. Maybe we make a connection, maybe not. Networking need not be left to chance, it can be more purposeful than this. The following strategy optimizes your networking ROR… What’s that you say? ROR is the return on relationships, a term coined by Kathleen Pringle, a career coach and strategist. I suggest you consider the following pay-it-forward approach prior to attending the next networking event.
Browse your Rolodex, collection of contacts or your LinkedIn™ contacts. Identify two people you think would benefit from meeting each other and make arrangements to make the pay-it-forward introduction at an upcoming event. That’s pretty simple.
3 Simple Steps to Uber-Networking with Uber-ROR using LinkedIn™
- Identify a LinkedIn event that you’ll attend soon that would be of general professional interest.
- Browse the list provided by LinkedIn™ of attendees and the “Interested.” Identify those you’d like to re-connect with at the event.
- Consider who they’d like to meet from your network. Forward the LinkedIn™ profiles of each professional to the other person stating that you’d like to facilitate an introduction at the event.
Why wait for event registrants? Browse your own network and consider an introduction you can make and begin setting it up using the event to make the introduction. I expect you’re seeing the paying-it-forward strategy working here and how it can enhance the ROR with those you are connecting and the value of the event. Turbo-charge the pay-it-forward philosophy and ask those you will be introducing to follow the same strategy.
Have a need to meet someone yourself?
LinkedIn™ can really accelerate and optimize this process. Let me explain how. After identifying the desired attendee to meet, use LinkedIn™ to determine who in your network is connected to the desired professional. Pick up the phone and make a call suggesting that the event would provide a chance to make the connection since the desired contact is already interested or attending the event.
Simply stated in summary come to the event with the purpose of making introductions and watch ROR blossom. It’s pay-it-forward, the mindset of all great networkers. Simply showing up at events is only better than not attending.