Not Everyone You Network With Is Trying To Sell To You
Most just want to get to know you ...
POSTED BY JACKY SHERMAN ON 29/03/2017 @ 8:00AM
I go to a lot of network events and mostly enjoy it. I also meet people who declare that they hate it. Funny that, as the only way I meet them is through networking; although to be fair, this is rarely at events labelled as networking ...
Most people you meet out networking just want to get to know you!
copyright: stockbroker / 123rf stock photo
A common reason they give for this negative response is their belief that the other people at these events are just trying to sell to them.
"We tend to notice the things we want to see, the things which reinforce our beliefs about the world!"
We’re equally good at ignoring the stuff that doesn’t support our world view. After all, we want to be right don’t we? Especially if it lets us off the hook and we can avoid having to do something we’re not skilled at.
So if you go to a networking event with the belief that the other people there are just trying to sell to you, and then someone does give you an unsolicited sales pitch, you can feel vindicated. “See? I knew I shouldn’t have come, these people are just out for themselves!”
And you may be right, that particular individual may have come with their belief that going networking is about pitching for business. Chances are, if they sell something good and low cost, they will make some direct sales.
"So from their perspective networking is about selling to the room!"
However, there are likely to be lots more people at the event and believe it or not, they might be just like you. They also didn’t come with an intention to buy. They have come to meet people and develop business relationships.
They may be very interested in getting to know you and sharing what you have in common and, perhaps in the future, being able to help each other in some way. That was your intention, wasn’t it? You weren’t secretly hoping that your ideal client was in the room just aching to meet you and buy from you, were you?
So my tip for you today is that if you hate going networking because you believe that everyone is just trying to sell to you, try going with this modified belief instead:
That most people are there with a similar intention as you: to get to know each other and see if you can help each other promote your respective businesses. You may be amazed at how many people in the room are trying to do just that.
They may just be less skilled at how to do it than you.
This raises the point about how skilled are you at networking? One skill to hone up is be ready to engage in conversations with others first about why they are there and then about what you hope to get out of the event. Chances are it is the first thing you will have in common.
One last point is to accept that some people at these events are going to try and sell to you. They may just not know any better or have found it works for them. I recommend that you be polite and make it clear you’re not in the market for that right now, but will keep them in mind.
"Then move the conversation on to the reason you are there. You will find that works more times than you’d expect!"
Want to know more about the networking skills you need to build those relationships in the room? Call me on 07970 638857 or click here to send me an email enquiry and let's have a chat.
Until next time ...
More about Jacky Sherman ...
I help people build and maintain productive working relationships both with their work colleagues and with a wider network to win more business. I do this by combining my skills in coaching, mediation and training with my extensive experience in senior management.
What I love most about my work is when my clients get those a-ha moments because I know they have seen for themselves the way that they want to move forward. Then they will achieve their ambitions.
Helping people who are having challenges with their working relationships gives me enormous pleasure. It was my privilege when working in health care to see how people working together can make the impossible seem easy and accomplish miracles as a result.
So helping people build or restore strong relationship with their colleagues makes even the hardest work easier, alleviates distress for the individual and reduces problems for the whole organisation.
In all this work trust is an essential ingredient to winning business so most of my work comes through referrals. Referrals come through strong business relationships so it was a natural extension for me to work with Ascentiv and train others in how to get consistent and predictable referrals from their network.
What a fantastic way to earn a living!
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