Meeting strangers can be scary. Going into a room filled with people you don't know with the expectation that you'll chat with a few of them – not easy. It's human nature to want to stick with what is familiar to us and stay within our comfort zones. The downside to this instinct?

You'll only know the people you already know and if they can't help you find a job or identify new clients then you're at a dead end. If you're serious about achieving your professional goals you'll need to get past your fear of meeting strangers.

To help make networking less scary, I’ve created a simple tool to help you focus your time and get results.
[click to tweet]

It’s only three steps, but when you follow them you’ll find you will be much more clear about why you are networking, what your goals are, and how to achieve them.

Brainstorm + Objective + Organize = BOO!

B.O.O. helps you be more strategic so you stop wasting time networking and get the results you’re looking for.[click to tweet]

  • Brainstormanswers the questionwhy
    • Why do you venture out of your comfort zone to meet strangers?
    • Why are you going to this particular event?
    • Why should you be strategic with your time?
  • Objectivespeaks to “what
    • What are your long-term goals for networking and what does success look like?
    • What are your goals for this particular event?
    • What would it take for you to be able to meet your event goals within one hour?
  • Organizespeaks to how

Remember BOO and networking will be less scary.

In the comments
Share what you find challenging about networking. Maybe your question will end up as the topic of a future blog post!

Robbie Samuels has been recognized as a networking expert by Inc. and Lifehacker, and profiled in “Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It” by Dorie Clark.  Check out “On the Schmooze” his new podcast.

Join Robbie Samuels' mailing list for more tips, resources and stories. Follow him @RobbieSamuels.

h/t Leslie Sholl Jaffe & Randy Alford, Rockwood Leadership Institute, they created the POP Model on which BOO is based.