The Truth About Business Networking

As explained in the blog Conventional Wisdom and Your Business  “conventional wisdom is usually wrong”.  This is also true when it comes to business networking. Unfortunately most networking groups and people who teach networking are not teaching it properly. It is not their fault! It is because either they were not taught properly or they are just following the conventional networking wisdom that they were subjected to. If they were teaching it properly more people would succeed at networking and their business. There are so many mistakes people make networking it is  impossible to explain everything in a blog why conventional networking doesn’t work but I will try to explain enough so you can adjust your networking to get better results. If you would like a FREE consultation or would like to attend a “Discover Business Success” workshop about networking success you may contact me directly at info@SuccessBuilders-TampaBay.com  

Conventional Networking Wisdom  

  • Networking is easy! “If you attend enough meetings and meet as many new people as possible you will become a successful business networker” WRONG! Meeting new people is important but it is only a small part of the equation. Networking is a simple concept but it is NOT easy! It is a marathon and not a sprint. It takes many hours, personal investment and following a specific formula to be effective.
  • It doesn’t matter where you meet new people as long as you meet a lot of new people.” WRONG! If you want to become successful at networking you need to meet the right people. If you have a professional business you need to be meeting with people who are professional. Forget going to meetings and events where there are people who not going to be a good fit for you and your business. Your time is valuable and can be expensive! Be very selective about where you network. I could do a whole blog on just selecting the proper networking meetings for your specific business but it is really something that is better explained in a workshop environment to address each persons specific networking target. 
  • Your networking goal is promote and brand yourself at meetings you attend” WRONG!  I understand why this seems to be why you should attend but it will sabotage your success if this is your approach. Your goal should not to be promoting yourself or your services but instead it should only be to meet one or two new people at each meeting you think will be an asset to help promote your business outside the meetings. If going to networking meetings or events to brand, sell or promote what you do you may get a little business once in a while but you will become disappointed after a while and probably quit networking. Unfortunately most networking groups want you to use the conventional networking wisdom to “pitch” (advertise) what you do.
  • You need a good “elavator pitch”  when you attend networking meetings” WRONG! Why? Elevator pitches are nothing more than “In person sales spam” and no one wants to be spammed. Networking is not an excerisize to promote, pitch or sell your products and services. If you want to “pitch” your products and services attend trade shows where people are going to discover and possibly purchase products and services.   Think about it. . . no one attends networking meetings or events to buy so you should not be trying to sell them. Actually almost no one cares what you do. They only care about what they do. If there are ten or fifty people in the room advertising or “pitching” their business and you are the one that is only interested in helping who do you think will stand out in the room? YOU will!  Intead of pitching your business why not say something like “My name is… my business name is…. and I came here today to meet a few people I can help in their business . . . or maybe . . . “”My name is… my business name is…. followed by a helpful tip related to your business (non-selling) that could help the majority in the room” Change it up each meeting you attend and people will start paying attention to you as a good networker who is there to help others.  This may seem contridictory to everything you have learned but it will definately improve your networking results and make people want to know more about you. If you are going to advertises, pay for advertising. If you are going to sell, attend tradeshows. At least you will be infront of people who are attending to buy. 
  • The bottom line is to follow what Zig Ziglar said: “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want”. For a concept so “simple” you would think networking should be easy but to do it effectively it is not. There is a lot more to networking than what I have included in this blog post but I hope the tips provided help you become a better networker.
  • Additional networking information covered at our Discover Networking Success  workshops including: Why you should STOP having “1 on 1’s , Why you are probably lying if you say “I attend events and networking meetings to build relationships”, The Good and Bad about Free & Paid Networking groups and organizations, Where and how to choose the best networking meetings for your specific business, Discover a better way to build relationships than handing out business cards at meetings and events, What you should be handing out at every meeting you attend, Why you should STOP asking for referrals, Why Business Networking May Not Be For You” and more…
  • If you have questions, would like a FREE consultation or would like to attend a “Discover Business Success” workshop to become a better networker you may contact me directly at info@SuccessBuilders-TampaBay.com  . We will be scheduling our next “Discover Networking Success” workshop in the spring of 2019. 
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