Distinctive Thinking

on Business Success – Articles, tips, and Q&A’s

Avoid Getting and Giving Headaches…

Posted by bizcoachjason on April 7, 2008

Networking can be great for sales…
Networking can be great for career advancement…
Networking can be great for job transition…

Networking can give you a headache
if it’s not done well…

I read a post today in an online
professional discussion forum about a
networking event that the poster
attended.  He said that there were a lot
of small business owners there, and he
was constantly “getting pitched and
pitched hard” as he met people.

I can definitely relate.  I go to many
networking events. And I have
encountered many sales people, small
business owners and other “experts”
that love telling people what they need
and what they should be doing about
— well, everything!

When I read the post, though, a part
of me wanted to apologize on behalf of
those small biz owners and sales folks. 
You see…

I am also one of the small business
owners, and a lot of my livelihood
depends on networking.

But I don’t “pitch” my services to people
I meet at networking events. I found out
a long time ago that is counter-productive.

When asked, I follow a system to tell
them what I do and who I help, and
then I listen to see if they want to talk
further about it. If not, we move on to
other topics.

I think there is no faster way to kill a
relationship before it’s begun than to
pitch to someone who may not be
interested, or to assume that someone
“needs” your product or service and
then act prematurely on that assumption.

And this is important because…

Successful networking is all about
relationship building.  Not sales.

Let me put it another way:

The best way to get sales results
from networking is to not sell.

Before you decide I’m just plain goofy,
let me explain.

As I said, I do a lot of networking, and
my business and sales depend on it.
And I think I understand sales pretty well, 
having provided large group sales training
sessions and one-on-one sales coaching
for large well known companies as well as
smaller, less known businesses.

I have taken what I’ve learned from my
various business experiences as well as
material I’ve studied and trainings I’ve
attended, and combined them to develop
workshops for others that also depend
on successful networking and sales

Below is a snippet of some of the
“Networking Do’s and Don’ts” that I’ve
shared at those events, which have
proven to go a long way to helping
achieve long-term growth:

– Be polite, respectful & honest.
– Maintain a “helpful” mindset at all times.
– Think about what you can do to help
the other person, not what they can
do for you.
– Ask a lot of questions.
– Enjoy learning about others.

– Don’t “sell” without permission.
– Don’t open with “What do you do?”
because it limits rapport-building.
– No matter how great your conversation
was, don’t rely on them to contact you.
Take the initiative to follow up.

I hope you find this information useful,
especially when you’re at your next
networking event.

All the best,

P.S. If you would like to learn more about
how to put these and other proven
networking skills into action, please join
me for a fr.ee teleclass

“Networking Necessities” this week:


Participants will have a chance to win
a complementary pass to my
Supercharge Your Sales & Networking
workshop on April 19. It will cover how
you can get the most out of sales and
networking, and how you can maximize
your bottom line results by following
an easy system to integrate the best
of both in an incredibly effective and
helpful way.




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