Why Your Networking Sucks
You’re at a networking event. A well-dressed stranger approaches with an extended hand, introduces himself and immediately begins talking about his business. Detail after detail emerges, until you are a subject matter expert in his field. Before long, he’s turned the conversation to ways you can help him to grow his sales. He describes the kinds of prospects he is looking for, hand you a bunch of his cards and moves on.
Incredible! The nerve ... and yet this is how most of us work the room at a networking event. But let’s back this bus up and try again.
You’re at a networking event. With an extended hand, you introduce yourself to a stranger and immediately ask about his business, obtaining as many details as you can in order to understand what he does. Before long, you turn the conversation to ways you can help him grow his sales. Specifically, you are looking to find out what kind of prospect he is looking for and the best way to get in touch with any leads you might have. He hands you business cards, thanks you profusely and you move on.
The world is full of givers and takers. Both are easy to spot. Only one will succeed when it comes to receiving the gift of referrals. Attend a networking shindig with a “What can these people do for me?” attitude, and you’ll be alone with your cocktail faster than you can say, “Cliff Clavin.” But seek to be of service to others and a crowd will emerge around you.
Following up on the event with a thank you, an opportunity will arise to talk about what you are looking for as well. You will find a ready audience to listen and try to help.
Takers only know one way, theirs. Givers are wired to provide. They create a desire in others to help them back. This is the reputation you want.
Be a Giver.
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