Its time for a revolution in networking.
Life has always been, and will always be, more about who you know than what you know.
People have always collected and shared useful contacts and always will.
In recent years, business networking has followed a set pattern: join a group, deliver a quick sales pitch, ‘work’ the room, follow up. Keep doing this (known as a slow burn) until people get to know you and trust you and maybe they’ll do business with you or refer you to their contacts.
I’ve always been puzzled by the dichotomy of the ‘quick sales pitch’ and the ‘slow burn’ of the ‘know and trust’ process.
If a quick sales pitch is so effective why do you have to wait for people to get to know you and trust you before they’ll do business with you?
On the other hand if the know and trust stuff is important (and it obviously is) why bother to introduce yourself with a sales pitch?
Many business people have embraced social networking as a way to enhance their business networking and those who do it best have realised that they need to be fully rounded people, not just business people. Instead of spouting sales pitches, they engage and have conversations (just like networking has always been outside of the business community and why it is called ‘social’)
Clever folk use social networks to figure out who they want to meet before they turn up to a face to face event.
Time is precious and petrol is expensive so why would anyone pitch up to an event on the off chance that there will be someone worth meeting? Why not research attendees on-line then break the ice so that you never need to walk into a room full or strangers or ask “what do you do?”
We can find people who share our interests, values and beliefs and who therefore don’t need to be ‘sold’ to. The ‘slow burn’ is much faster and often takes place before people meet face to face and geographical barriers are no longer an issue.
Networking is about creating contacts for life, not just for business.
If you’d like to try a civilised way of networking without sales pitches check out Drive the Network