There are some of you reading this that will know of people who go to 2, 3 or even 4 networking meetings a week. They are up a the crack of dawn then possibly going to another one that evening. This is of course before and after a full day at the ‘ranch’. When you attended some of these events, you will bump into them. They go into this pre prepared monologue about what they do for a living. Just recall how that person came across to you.
All well and good – however, if they have not ascertained first what your possible needs are. Then this monologue is wasted. I have even had instances where they have my card, I have expressed to them that I do not need their services – (however at some point I might know someone who might). Then I get an email the following day saying how good it was to meet last night and let’s have a coffee and a catch up. Why?
This person then gets quite frustrated, only because their speech has to them fallen on deaf ears. They then move onto the next person, delivers the same monologue at a greater speed – as now time is pressing. I was at one event in Wakefield, a lady approached me, thrust her card in my hand. Promptly apologised for her abruptness – as she wanted to give her card to all the people there – she was quite determined to get round everybody. I met a person a while ago in Leeds who was just there for the social side, glass of wine in hand and waxed lyrical about anything and everything. If that works for him, then who am I to comment. If you get someone’s business card – fine, you might be able to connect that person with someone else – not necessarily you – the essence of Networking really. You do this for them – they may reciprocate.
For me the best Networking approach is to listen to the challenges and needs of the other person. Does what you offer fill that void in their business? If so you can offer them a solution – they will be interested. It will get you talking, the benefit of doing it this way is that the other party will be more willing to get a meeting in the diary.
Networking done right can be very enjoyable and rewarding for everyone. The main point to bear in mind is that ‘the most powerful words you speak – are the ones you don’t utter’.
I will leave you to reflect on that – as I am sure you will see where I am coming from.