When actors are shooting scenes in a movie, if the scene didn’t go well, the director will shout, “Cut!” Next, he will have a few brief words with the actors and do another take. When the actors do the scene to his satisfaction, he’ll say, “That’s a wrap!” and move on to what’s next.
It seems to me that with so many people attending large networking events that after a few events they would see that how they are attempting to network isn’t working and the next time. . . do another take!
Hmmm. Some people never learn.
Networking is such a popular contact sport that you would think that after a few unsuccessful events – meaning: no significant change in business or no one seems to be wanting to contact them – that they would learn from the errors of their ways and seek some support from someone who knows the ins-and-outs of business networking or, at least, stop and observe how the winners are doing it. Yet, they toil on, soliciting business, collecting business cards and hoping at the next event things will improve. That’s insane!
They keep doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. Pardon me, but “It ain’t gonna happen!”
They press on being someone’s new pest. . . asking for business when what they should be doing is focusing on making new relationships with people that “they” might be able to help.
If you want to call attention to yourself, you must pay attention to others! ~ Larry James
“Effective” business networking is about developing long-lasting business relationships, not about soliciting business or collecting a pocket-full of business cards you can call by phone or solicit by e-mail. True quality networking takes time. It is never a slam-dunk!
Developing long-lasting business relationships takes time. “NetHustlers” – that’s what I call these pests – just don’t get it. They wait until business is so bad then they zoom in on anyone in their way to try to “get” as much business as they can without the slightest notion that this strategy isn’t working. By that time they are so desperate that they piss more people off as they blunder along, getting nowhere.
There is hope! You can do another take. You get a “do-over!” However, before you can correct a problem, you must be willing to admit that it exists!
Ask anyone successful in business networking how they do it, and there’s at least one thing they will all agree on: “You will never make it without the guidance of special people who have walked the networking path before you.”
If you have been successful at networking, make it a point to help these people. At your networking meetings, share ideas that have worked for you. Make it a special part of every meeting. When introducing yourself, add a brief networking tip that has helped you make new friends and get new business. Encourage others to do the same.
You might even have a networking “Top 10” tip sheet that you hand to others at networking events along with your business card. Make sure you write something like, “These free networking tips are compliments of (your name and your business contact information).”
Consider sponsoring a “Free” networking training session at your business. Invite people in businesses that you would like to get to know better.
Encourage the leaders of the networking groups you attend to always have a small part of each meeting be dedicated to learning more about how to network more effectively.
Attending a large networking event? Offer networking tips to break the ice. Or, ask the new person you just met, “What has been the most effective tool you have used to network?”
If you are someone who feels the need to network better, the next event you attend, set a goal to meet three people, at most, with whom you have more than a 10-second conversation. Ask them what kinds of clients they serve and ask what types of people they want to meet. This next question should get their attention, ask them how you can help them. You see, the goal is NOT to meet lots of people, the goal is to single out people that you may be able to assist in their business. If you both “click,” and you see there is possibility in the meeting, ask for a business call and promise to call the next day to set up a time to get together – to see how you can further assist them.
Believe me, this approach will take your networking to another level.
If that doesn’t get their attention, they are probably dead that they haven’t been buried yet. 😉
Always remember: Business networking is about building authentic, long-term business relationships with the intention of assisting each other as you get to know each other better. Become a trusted source for quality referrals and contacts. Always be helping others connect to the people they need to know.
Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. Larry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! Invite Larry James to speak to your group! His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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