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, 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 step into the room, because the answers will help focus your time at the networking event.
Once you know who you want to target, immerse yourself in the current events happening in their industry. This will give you something to talk about when you approach your targeted prospects. If there’s a big regulatory imperative affecting their industry, for example, that’s a nice thing to open a conversation 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. If you do 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 to have, and it will help you maximize your networking time.