People keep telling you that networking works for them, but when you go to networking events, you try to sell sell sell but nobody buys.
That’s because you’re doing it wrong.
Selling is not how you network. People can smell your desperation, but even if they couldn’t, selling is not how you network. Nobody wants to be sold to. You don’t, so why should they? Stop doing it. It doesn’t work.
You may never do business with someone you meet at a networking event. But you might know someone who needs what they do. You meet people at networking events, and you connect them with other people you’ve met at networking events, and they do business with each other, and they’re both happy.
Meanwhile, they’re doing the same thing for you.
You will feel more comfortable when you network this way, because you will not be selling. Not your product, not your service, and not your integrity. You’ll be helping people, which is what you’d rather be doing. You’ll be more comfortable that way. More natural. More human.
You’ll also be more successful.
Let’s face it. Ratcheting up the quantity of cold calls because only 0.1% converts is painful. You don’t want to do that. You want to network the way I’ve described. Now you have my permission.
The above was inspired by an excellent presentation given by Terri DeBoo, Business Growth Advisor, Ideas @ Work, https://www.linkedin.com/pub/terri-deboo/2/25b/4b. Nope, she doesn’t have dollar signs in her eyes.
I saw Terri at the NorthWest Chapter of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. You may have noticed how well I network online. I recently noticed that I really got good at it when I quit posting sales pitches. The same applies to in-person networking.
Last year, I met Tom at an event, then introduced him to Trish at another event without actually knowing what business either of them was in. Tom became Trish’s customer, he was happy, she was happy, I was happy. The end. That’s what networking is. Story over.
Until, six months later, when Trish’s company wrote some ebooks about Tom’s business and decided they needed editing. Guess who they called?
Networking 101, and I hadn’t even met Terri yet.
Thank you Terri!