Networking. It’s a necessary aspect of business, but there are certainly a lot of misconceptions about it. Some of us fall into a category of networkers that are not getting the most out of the experience. If you fall into one of the categories below, think about either joining a different networking group, changing your habits, or pushing out of your comfort zone.
The Elevator Pitcher
This person has lost the ability to connect. When they have their suit on, they become a robot that can only give an elevator pitch and swiftly hand out business cards to everyone, even if unprompted. They run around the whole room and have a lot of people they have pitched to, but no meaningful conversations.
This is an issue of quantity over quality. Don’t go into the room thinking you have to connect with EVERYONE. It is much more worth your while to talk and get to know a few people than to pitch to every single person. We forget that just because we pitch our business to a lot of people, that doesn’t mean a return on a lot of business. No one works with us because of an awesome elevator pitch, they work with us because they trust and like us.
To this person, everyone is prey, a target, a person in distress and needing their saving. This person assumes you are at a networking event because your business needs their help and they are there to solve your problems, which they assume you have.
When you want into a room full of strangers, it’s easy to view them all as “prey” for your business. That is a hunter’s mindset, which is fantastic for sales, but not for networking. You should be asking more than telling. Don’t make assumptions. Networking is not supposed to be a corporate hunting ground. Even if you don’t end up getting business from each person you talk to, if you connect and make an impression and keep that relationship; you will be the first person they refer.
This person is only at the networking event because they have to be there. They have no interest in connecting and typically ask the generic question of “what do you do?” and the conversation comes to a crashing halt.
This is a mindset that is dangerous and a waste of time for business. No one loves networking, it is work. Find something you DO like about it and really explore that. Maybe you like talking to people but aren’t good at closing sales. That’s fine! Just use your ability to connect to grow your network. You’re shy? Find a networking group that is catered more toward intimate connection instead of a wide open room with hundreds of people. You aren’t good at public speaking? Don’t go to networking groups that require an elevator pitch. There is something out there for everyone, you just need to dig a little deeper.
Interested in checking out Alimond Studio’s networking group, My Growth Tribe? Come say hello and sign up here.