The Second Biggest Networking Mistake
If you have a networking event coming up (and if not, why not?), make sure you do not commit the two deadly sins:
1. Go into it thinking, “What can these people do for me?” and,
2. Make visual assumptions.
First off, attend a networking event and ask people, “What can I do to help you?” You’ll get more by giving.
A guy walks into a Cadillac dealer in Texas. He is slight, slender, and filthy from head to toe. Sales people look over their glasses and frown, choosing to pick up the phone instead of offering assistance. The man stays a while, glances inside a few cars, and then leaves the showroom, much to the relief of the sales staff. Outside, the billionaire gets back in his old station wagon and drives back to ranch to climb back onto his tractor and continue plowing.
What’s crazier about this true story, that a billionaire would plow his own field or that a visual assumption killed a sale?
The trouble with networking events is that the biggest opportunities do not have icons over their heads like a game of Sims, indicating that they are your key targets. As such, you need to treat everyone the same, even those who are dirty from head to toe.
You never know which will turn out to be Ross Perot, the man in story above.