So many networking events are just excuses to pass out your business card. But, truth be told, most people wind up never calling the people they meet at events. Not everyone knows the secrets to effective marketing. In fact, most people don’t. Some might even resort to adding everyone they collect a business card from onto their e-mail list, which is a big no-no. The problem lies in that peole attend the events with the mindset of selling or promoting whatever it is that they sell or do. Then, after they don’t make any sales, they complain that it was a waste of time & money.
The answer to the networking event–> the un-Networking Party. Yep, this is the kind of event put together that is not focused on doing business with each other. This is primarily focused on developing relationships and getting to know people on a personal level.
Next week, my SOFLA Moms Making Sales group is hosting a “Red Wine, Black Dress Social” & potluck. The point of the whole event is to get people face to face, which is so important when it comes to relationship-building. As you’ll see in my video series, relationships create a form of social capital that eventually converts to monetary capital in time.
Rather than going to the event with the focus on making a sale, go to the event with the focus on having a good time getting to know other people who you might share common interests with. Rule of thumb: do not try to sell someone something the very first time you meet them.
What you’ll find is that you’ll enjoy your business much more when you take away the pressure to sell. Sales make so many people uncomfortable, so imagine going to an event with goal of enjoying yourself? That sounds like much more fun right? Of course it does.
There are so many people concerned about blurring the lines between business and friendship, but as we grow as a society, you’ll see that business runs on friendships. You’ve heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” Sure a relationship might be ruined here and there, but it is all part of a growth process. The happiest business people are the ones who allow the “social” and “personal” elements to come into their business.
What are your thoughts on networking events? Would you prefer an un-Networking Party? Do you have any cool ideas for an un-Networking Party? (Btw, we are planning a Back to School Survival Party. How’s that for un-Networking?)