One of the common misconceptions in the world of networking is that more is better. For instance, many a neophyte networker thinks that the best way to network is to pass out as many business cards as possible. Or he or she might think that in working a room they need to meet as many people as possible. Anyone who uses an approach such as those I just described has unfortunately, missed the point of effective networking. The goal, is to create quality relationships. And you have a better chance at succeeding by focusing on quality of connections over quantity of connections.
So, how do we accomplish quality over quantity? Quality connections require a little more effort than a high quantity of connections. Think about it. It’s really easy to put a card in someone’s face. The natural response once we are handed a card is to accept it. But how do we know that person we gave our card to cares to reconnect? It is hard to know if we have not tried to create a quality connection. Realistically, we cannot create quality connections with everyone we meet. Some people we may not click with. Some people are not the type of person we need to connect to according to our networking goals.
So how do we make a quality connection? There are many strategies. One of my favorite tidbits is to look for common ground to build a relationship. You never know if the next connection will lead to something greater. So if you click with someone, whether sharing a common hometown, to alma mater, to common friend, be sure that if you connect with someone you find common ground that can help you stand out and be more than just a business card.