Some people think that business networking is simply a matter of showing up to meetings, handing out business cards and waiting for people to give them referrals. These people quickly become frustrated with the results of this “strategy.” There is so much more to networking. Networking is showing up and helping others. It is building relationships as people do business with those that they know, like and trust. I have created a list of things NOT to do at networking meetings to help make the process successful for all.
Selling– One common mistake networkers make is that they come to meetings to sell themselves, their products, or their services. This is a huge turn-off to almost everyone. Business networking is about building relationships, even becoming friends. Once people get to know YOU (not just your business), they refer people to YOU – not your business. Take time to get to know people to build those relationships. Yes, it takes time but it is so worth it in the big picture.
It’s all about me– Networkers who have an “It’s about me” attitude will not enjoy much success with a business networking group. Much like a good friendship, networking is a two-way street. To be successful as a business networker, you must genuinely be interested in the other members (just as in a good friendship).
Only out to get business– If the only purpose you are joining a business networking group is to get business, you will likely be disappointed with the results. Yes, the overall purpose of business networking is to generate more business for the members, but that works most effectively as a result of building quality relationships, which takes time. Effective business networkers help other members generate more business, which is then reciprocated. Help others and the universe will send it back to you!
Censorship– Assuming that the person they are speaking to or doing a one on one with is a waste of time because they are not a potential client for the service or product that you offer. The opposite is almost always true. You never know who someone knows that may be in need of what you have to offer. It is a limited way of thinking that can really inhibit your business growth. The average person knows about 600 people and now with social media those numbers are on the rise!
Using a one on one meeting to sell a product or service to another member– Although we are all trying to sell something, the purpose of a one on one should be to get to know about their business, as well as tell about yours. And also to get to know each other. Find out what common interests you have. It is to establish trust with another individual and to get to know each other.
Let’s network and get to know each other. I am always available for a phone chat or a virtual iced tea date. I want to hear your story and see who I can connect you with!