Why do you attend a networking event? Do you go to make a business connection, do you expect to sign a new customer, do you hope to find a connection to someone else, are you looking for employment, or are you looking for new employees. Why are you there? Do you go for the social possibilities, or are you in a serious business mode when you attend?
First, it depends on the type of event. There are social networking events, and there are business networking events. There are also some that might be considered both. The type of event should determine why you are there; don’t attend an event that is solely for business when you are looking for a new social partner. Don’t attend a social event when you are looking to expand your business.
Wherever you may find yourself, don’t prejudge anyone. If your first impression of someone is that they are not the type of person for whom you might be looking, so what? Do you tell yourself not to waste your time on them and move on to someone who seems more “your cup of tea”? Do you try to connect with them and see where the conversation might go? You might be very surprised by the person themselves. You also could be very surprised by who the person in question might know that you need to know.
Recently I met someone at a business networking meeting that I attend every month, and, of course, I tried to set a one-on-one meeting with them afterwards. I was totally rebuffed in my attempt. I was told in no uncertain terms that the person did not want to meet anyone for any purpose. I attempted to ask for a reason why the person attended the meeting and was told that the conversation was over, and they then hung up the phone. I did not delete them from my contact file, just in case we meet again.
Let’s say that this person calls me in the future asking for help. I will attempt to meet with them and attempt to discover why they reacted so negatively originally. If there is a reasonable explanation, then we may proceed to a possible networking relationship, but I will be wary. My suggestion to this person is not to prejudge others that want to investigate a possible relationship after meeting at a networking event. That is the reason for the event.
Appreciation Marketing works to make successes of us all. However, you must open the door to networking relationships to allow Appreciation Marketing to have an opportunity to be applied and to work. If you prejudge anyone, you may be missing out on the relationship which will allow you to follow through and help someone else, or to be helped by someone else. Just the act of not prejudging someone and of allowing relationships to develop is Appreciation Marketing in action.
The next time that you meet anyone who doesn’t seem to be your ideal possibility for a networking relationship, stop and think how you may appear to them. You might not seem to be their ideal possibility either. Never, ever, prejudge anyone. The person that you disallow from your network might just fit someone else’s target market successfully.
Want to share your successes and failures? Add your comments, email me your stories at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691. I would love to meet and chat about your experiences. Sharing often helps us more than we would expect.