Networking Mistake - Talking with only Familiar People

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Now, this is a tough one. You get to a networking event, and immediately you spot your buddy. You go over and talk to him/her and jump right into the swing of things. How're the kids, the job, did you watch

The Apprentice last night blah blah blah. A couple of drinks later, a bite of food or two, another friend shows up, then another. The next thing you know, you are having a ball! What a great event, right? WRONG!

When we discuss this one at seminars, we hear the same things over and over again. People want to FIGHT for their right to hang out with their friends at networking events. They are extremely adamant that this makes sense as they are trying to deepen those relationships. Well, we say this,If you knew them going in, you will know them going out." As long as you didn't ruin the friendship by doing something stupid, it will be intact as well. Yes, you want your friends to still like you and send you referrals, but chances are, they already do.

You can do whatever you choose to at these events, but if you want to increase the referrals you get, you
must follow these rules. There is a way to respect your friendships AND get more referrals at the same time for both you and your friends, so try this at your next event. When you are at a networking event, and you see some friends you know, say this: Hey, great to see you John. Look, don't be offended if I take off to meet other folks. You see, since we already know each other, I want to go and meet some of the other people here and see if I can identify those individuals who might be good power partners or referral sources for you.

If you do the same for me, maybe we can meet back here at the end of the event and compare notes. See what you just did? You were respectful to your friend, explained what you were doing and how it would benefit him, and then you sent him out into the crowd to work for you! Now THAT is leverage. Your friend is going to know you care about him even if you only spent about 30 seconds talking, and in turn, he is going to identify good referral sources for you as well. It's really that simple.

We have found that this technique does two things very effectively. Number one, it keeps you on task as to your true intended purpose and two, it gets your friends ON task in the first place. Remember, at most networking events, folks are either trying to sell everyone they meet, or they are merely socializing. There are usually very few as savvy as you will be and this practice probably just reminded your friend why he/she is there in the first place. Consider how productive the events you attended would be if everyone quit making this mistake. 

Read 276 times Last modified on Monday, 04 May 2015 04:02
Segun Ogunlana

A social innovator, a fixer, who likes to make a difference and get things done better. His focus covers Project Management, Systemic Innovation, Product Development, Design Thinking, Business Strategy, Set-up & Development. Some call him a super manager, natural marketer and sales man. He is a Chelsea fan too.

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