Networking With Purpose: 5 Keys to Success


Meeting with President Elbegdorj at Presidential Palace in Ulaanbaatar
Ulaanbaatar was not as cold as I had imagined. In fact, it was a buzzing city whose boundless energy seemed to overpower even the sea of Soviet-built housing complexes.

The next day we were set to meet President Elbegdorj, the head of one of the most dynamic economies of Northern Asia, the country of Mongolia.
When we entered the Presidential Palace, it was an amazing feeling. Of course, meeting with a president is something very unique, but I also was happy that I had helped to advance the goals of the organization I was working for at the time.

How do you meet presidents, CEOs of top companies, or celebrities? What is the secret of finding your way into their worlds?

Do you need to know the grocery store where George Clooney gets his asparagus? Or do you patrol airports to nonchalantly run into the president of a foreign country? Or is it just pure luck?

For me, it has always been networking — networking with purpose. There is no one simple trick that would allow you to be successful in this important business skill, other than be genuine and give, give, give.

Most of us are guilty of stalking people just to burst out with a long-long story about our achievements and successes. It is always about us. It is always – give me! Our messages and elevators speeches are filled with egos the size of the universe. Why?

Let’s remember that single best advantage of meeting another human being is to learn about him or her. We should constantly remind ourselves that everyone appreciates sharing his or her own story.

Whenever you meet someone new, ask yourself – how can I help this person right now? Can my business or personal connections, or a particular skill I have, help this person succeed?

If you think this way, I guarantee you will find success in no time.

In my mind, I have always tried to file away information and categorize my contacts and projects, to be able to match them with the next person who might need my help.

My secrets to great networking are:

1) Always think of the other person first

2) Find out how your skills and connections can help this person right now

3) Create and practice your elevator speech to perfection

4) Follow up

5) Make an effort to become a sustainable connection

What are your secrets to networking success?


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