Stop Wasting Your Time Networking

underwater view of a dog swimming in a poolHow well do you swim? By “swim,” I actually mean “network.”

When business leaders network to meet new clients, they have a tendency to spend a lot of time and effort on it. In the end, many of them wonder what results they’re getting from all the effort. Unless you focus on target market networking, you won’t get the results you’re hoping for.

Yet many of us continue to jump right back into the pool and swim harder.

Pick a Pool Where Your Target Market Swims

So how can you reduce the drag on every stroke? How can you become effective at target market networking?

If you want stronger results, swim in the right pools! You have to swim where your ideal target market swims. Your target market might not be in the baby pool or the Olympic pool. They might be in a city pool, a river, a waterpark, or something else. The metaphor’s many options fit real life networking’s many venues.

So how do you know which pool is the right pool?

Defining Your Target Market

EOS® Implementers help their clients to define their target market in three areas:

  • Demographic. You need to know what they look like. How much revenue do they have? How many employees? Are they a specific gender? Are they a specific age range? In short: what are the facts and stats about them?
  • Geographic. You need to know where they are. Is your ideal target market 90 minutes from each of your locations? Are they in a specific state or region? Are you global?
  • Psychographic. This is probably the most important piece of defining your target. Can you describe the personality and key characteristics of your target? How will you know them when you see them? (Examples: conservative, liberal, extroverted, introverted, adventurous, epicurious, innovative, first adopters, cautious, detail-oriented, quick to make decisions, interested in partnerships, etc.).

Remember, you aren’t just defining anyone you can do business with, you’re defining your ideal target market. The spotlight here is narrower than the total of all of your customers. It is your best customers.

Target Market Networking Mastery

If you look at your best and favorite clients and customers:

  • What do they look like? Who are they and where are they located?
  • What do they sound like? What do they believe? Now imagine at least 80% of your clients being exactly that.

Focusing on the right target market for what you do will ensure you are more profitable, successful, and happy.

Once you know who they are, you can determine where they hang out (which pools do they swim in).

So swim in the right pools. Attend the right events, activities, and networking to increase your odds of success to be of service to your ideal target market.

Where Does Your Target Market Swim?

If your target market swims in one pool, learn how to swim there. Stop wasting valuable strokes in the wrong pools on activities that make you busy and are not serving you or others. You need to master target market networking!

Be relentless about your ideal target market. Invest your time, energy and resources on the right market. And, of course, stay out of the pools where you don’t belong. Be where you belong – with your ideal customers.

Next Steps

This article originally appeared on the Optimize for Growth blog on June 7, 2017.

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