Start with the end in mind. network with a target
Knowing who or what your target market is as crucial to your business. This will affect all marketing that you do and the majority of the communications your company puts out.
I was originally going to do this article around networking as it is an area close to my heart and part of my expertise. But when I thought about it I realised that it affects so much more. Without knowing your target market/companies how are you ever going to attract them?
The great Stephen Covey wrote in his seminal work the 7 Habits, that you had to begin with the end in mind, a philosophy also prominent in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) but called start with the end in mind. Whichever version works for you the message is the same in that you need to know where you are going before you set of on your journey.
This works for both individuals and companies and is crucial to either's success. For companies they must let their staff not only what the end point looks like but must get them on board for the journey. A company where only half of its staff have “bought in” will not be as efficient as one where everyone is on the journey. Those that have not been “involved” will not be looking for the same things as those on the journey and may waste time on projects that are not in line with company philosophy.
Leaders should define the destination
A company with a good person at the top will likely have the majority of staff on board because they are true leaders and because of that others will follow. These true leaders are consistent and tell a very strong story and define where the company needs to go and also how it can get there.
This means that the company as an entity knows where it is going, how it wants to get there and will act that way. So, marketing and communications will all be geared to the end point and will focus people who receive it. The staff that network and use LinkedIn for the company will also tailor their output to fall in line with this focused target. (If they now how or are trained to do this)
The individuals working in micro companies don’t have the task of getting buy in from the company staff as usually it is them or a couple of others (possibly part time). It is still vital that they are sure of their target market or else how can they get this across in their marketing but also in their networking and communications?
Be Clear on your destination or you could get lost
This is where I originally started the idea for this article, as I meet a lot of people networking, whom when I ask certain questions, can not give me a clear answer. They can not tell me, and therefore anyone in that room who their targets are. I usually get a mixture of anybody or somebody who could benefit from my services.
This worries me as they are potentially wasting that time at the event when they could have been spreading the word.
I suggest that when you go networking that you know these 3 things about your target market
1/ Position in company
3/ Geographical Location
For me currently in certain groups it is a partner in a professional services company in location/area the event is in.
I say certain groups as like many I have a couple of targets, so I clearly define which one I will talk about at the event before I even attend. Don’t mess it up as I have done in the past. It confuses people so in the end they can’t help you.
Plan and Define
Plan before you attend or start any marketing, so you are clear on your target, so others know and can help.
Please don’t start a journey without working out your ideal destination, because you can spend a lot of time going in the wrong direction. You would not buy a rail ticket for Bristol if Newcastle was your ideal destination
This blog is written by Tony Silver, author of Networking; It's all about the room, and is based on 40 years experience working in businesses.
Tony has been in business for over 40 years, starting as a mechanical engineering Apprentice, then in his mid 20's he ran a department that was invoicing £1M a month. In his 30's he became joint Owner/Director of a company with sole UK responsibility. In his 40's he was an Account Director wit a portfolio of well known names.
Made redundant in 2008 he has built up an extremely strong network in the Thames Valley. He achieved this by networking extensively and then taking the relationships onto LinkedIn. This has allowed him to secure a job, strengthen his network and in 2017 decide to set up the business as it is now