One of the keys to successful networking is knowing exactly who you want to target ahead of time. You have to visualize your dream prospect.
Are you looking for vendors to partner with? Are you looking for building owners? Property managers? If you’re going to a building owner’s networking event – in-person or virtually – think about what subset of building owners you want to meet. For example, are you looking for owners of large buildings or small buildings? Are you targeting owners who have properties nationally or just locally? These are the types of questions you should answer before you reach out to a new prospect or contact.
Once you know who you want to target, immerse yourself in what’s happening in their industry. This will give you something to mention when you reach out to your targeted prospects. If there’s a big regulatory imperative affecting their industry, for example, that’s a nice thing to open a discussion with.
So how do you know what’s going on in your prospects’ industries? Research! Subscribe to their trade journals. Read their blogs and forums. Read the analysts’ reports from Wall Street. Leverage LinkedIn, which can be a direct line of communication with new prospects, as well as other social media platforms. Even with a simple Google search, you’re bound to find a variety of reports from private and public-sector sources. All of this information is very valuable and will help you maximize your networking time.