I was at a networking event recently and a colleague asked me this question – “Why is Networking Not Selling?”
I thought that it was a very good question, and it prompted me to ask one back….. “Have you been successful selling at a networking functions?”
His response was strongly in the negative….. and he couldn’t understand why.
After asking a few questions like…. ‘How many people did you know at the event?’ ‘Did you pitch to people you knew?’ ‘Did you spend time with the right person who could have been a potential prospect?’ ‘Did you move from group to group handing out business cards and flyers, looking for the person who showed some interest?’ ‘Did you actually try and know them, or were you too busy… concerned with your agenda?’
It became very clear, even to him that he was going about things the wrong way.
I then explained to him that most… if not all people who go to a networking event, go for a couple of key reasons….. to catch up with other people that they know, but don’t see often… to meet some new people and enjoy the social camaraderie that many events engender….. and some actually go to make genuine business connections…….
But the purpose of the events are to make new connections or reconnect with past business acquaintances.
It is not the place to do a pitch…. pester people into an appointment…. or close a deal…
These things are to be left for later… when you actually start to build a relationship with your new connection. Without that relationship, you will never get a deal across the line.
Remember, people do business with people they “Know…. Like….. and Trust”.
They NEVER do business with people who are pushy… inappropriate and demanding.
Make your connections first… build the relationships… and then watch the sales start to come……
Enjoy your next networking event…