Have you ever been at a Networking event and felt that someone had just painted a bright red target on your back? Have you felt that the person who just shook your hand is also trying to make his or her way into your wallet? Have you felt like you were being sized up as a potential client or pre-qualified as a lead? If these kind of things have happened to you, I’m here to tell you that you were not at a Networking event … you were smack in the middle of a “sales” call.
If you are the perpetrator of this kind of behavior, my friend, you are not networking you are prospecting. And, probably not getting the kind of results that you had hoped for.
Both sides of this equation come away from a Networking event thinking that “networking doesn’t work for me.” Of course it doesn’t – but then this is not networking. It’s not even selling in any kind of a good way. Why? Because people who initiate a sales presentation on another person they’ve just met can’t possibly have done the homework that would lead to a good outcome for both parties. AND this kind of selling is all about desperation. No one likes to be around desperate sales people.
I liken it to dating. You’ve seen it on TV or in the Movies – heck, many of us have seen it up close and personal. The guy or gal who is so desperate to get a date that they over compensate. They talk too much. They push too hard and too fast. They are clearly thinking only of themselves as a matter of fact, they talk only of themselves. Folks like these want to BE in relationship without going through the stages of building relationship.
To be good at sales, you need to be good at building relationships.
In case you’ve seen yourself in this description, there is hope for you. Here are a few tips to ease your pain (and for those around you).
Talk less. Listen more.
Ask interesting questions about the other person.
Be interested in the answers.
Don’t try to turn the conversation toward your product.
That can come later.
People do business with people they know, like, and trust.
There are no shortcuts to trust. It takes time.
Enjoy the ride, slow down, and let networking take its course!