Let’s see if this approach makes sense to you.
Earlier today, I had a phone call from a woman who let me know that she would like to be considered to make a presentation to our eWomenNetwork chapter here in Bellevue. She is currently representing a local radio talk show and they want to tap into our network to get more people to attend their September event and she felt that speaking at one of our events would be the best way to spread the word about their program. She is hoping to get attendees and sponsors out of the deal.
And then she shared with me that while she has been aware of eWomenNetwork here locally for some time now, she hasn’t felt a need to participate or join in our events because our members are not her target market for her main business.
Oooops. Mental end of the discussion on my side of the conversation.
Would you like to know what went wrong here?
First, this person let me know that she operates from a taker mentality. She wants to come to speak at an eWN event so that she can get eWN members to sponsor her client’s event. Not one word was mentioned about what value she would be bringing to our members with her presentation.
Second, whether she knew it or not … she let me know that our members aren’t people that she would ordinarily spend time networking with.
Third, since she hasn’t been to one of our events, she doesn’t know how our events work and she wanted me to explain that to her.
How could this have been handled better?
Well, first, she could have done some research. If there is something you want, you need to do your own research. If you decide that someone is your target market and it is a networking group – heck you might want to actually attend an event and see how things work.
Had she ever been to one of our events, she would know that she would have to come from a place of giving. Networking is about building relationships first. The giving comes first and the getting comes later. With a giving mentality, she could have called with an idea of a presentation that would have offered value for our members.
And lastly, if you want someone to help you … don’t insult them. Telling me why she hasn’t taken time to learn about our network in the terms that she did reminds me of a story that my friend, Nancy Juetten, always tells.
Nancy says, “If you are trying to get a story about your business in the local newspaper, don’t call up the editor and tell him/her that you never read their newspaper but you want to have a story about your business featured in an upcoming edition.” That’s not a smart PR strategy!
So, the lesson is … if you want to speak at an event to get exposure for your business, do the following:
- Research the organization where you want to speak
- Go to an event as a guest to see if the culture is right for what you want to achieve
- Craft your presentation so that you show value for the audience – what’s in it for them?
- Be careful of what you say about the organization that you want to speak at
- Craft your pitch to the decision maker in such a way that you show total respect for that person’s time and for the organization as well