Recently I attended a solo entrepreneur networking evening where there were lots of familiar faces and many new ones. The organizers had a nifty exercise that was similar to a treasure hunt. They provided a list of different sorts of businesses and participants had to find people who fit descriptors like “Home Stager, Realtor, Published Author, Business & Career Coach.” It was announced that on completion, the lists would be used to draw for a gift certificate.
Now here’s my rant: One guy approaches two of us who are just getting to know each other, we move to include him in our circle. He takes over the conversation pushing out his need to fill his sheet. That wasn’t bad enough. He then asked a personal question and started to look for his next victims while the question was being answered. This would never be a person that I can “know, like and trust” (the phases in the buying cycle) This kind of behaviour raises the question. Just what is the purpose of networking events and treasure hunt type exercises? Are they merely chances to dish out business cards, talk about yourself and win a draw?
Or are they golden opportunitiesto get to know some people on a deeper level where there is mutual curiosity and openings to get to like the person’s business approach? The Know-Like-Trust cycle really means that we must develop relationships long before we can expect to do business.
My mantra – It’s All About Relationships!
Anybody else experience any networking bloopers? Please share yours so that everyone can develop new approaches to their networking.