May 13, 2017

Drive-By Networking

How many of us attend at least one networking event each month? Maybe we attend one per week, or even a different one each day. In addition to these meetings, try to meet as many people as possible for a networking coffee chat after meeting them at an event, or if they were referred by one of our networking partners.

Sometimes at one of these networking events, someone provides a presentation of their business for the group’s information, and it may be the presenter’s first and only attendance at one of the group’s meetings. This might be called “drive-by networking”.

People do business with others that they know, like, and trust. How do we build that level of knowledge about anyone when we meet them for the first, and maybe the only, time? Meeting with a person individually and getting to know them is better than attending a one-time presentation.

If we want to gain business through the referrals of our networking associates we must be known as someone who is reliable. We should be a continuing attendee of a networking group, contributing to, and participating in that networking group. Others want to know that we will be there when they need us.

That does not mean that we must attend each and every meeting of a group. However, our continued attendance, and support, should be the norm and not the exception. We all accept that business does come first, but we can support our networking group’s partners even when we are absent.

Now, what about someone who comes to a group as a guest speaker? They should be recommended by someone in the group, or by the group’s leader. Make the time to meet with them individually and get to know them better. We may need to meet with others more than once or twice to accomplish a level of comfort, taking the necessary steps to find out if our reputation will be intact when recommending anyone.

The term “drive-by networking” can be applied to individual meetings also. This may be when the other person arrives late to a meeting, announces that they only have 15 minutes to meet, asks no questions about you or your business, or engages in a “hard sell”. They may even cut the meeting off as we are trying to learn what they do.

This person makes us feel somewhat used, and we may believe that they do not value relationships. Never recommend someone to anyone else if we do not know, like, and trust them. Neither recommend someone who we do not believe will value the time or business of anyone else. Our reputations are too valuable.

We are more than what we say to others; we are also known by how we treat others. Gratitude Marketing is the practice of treating others with respect, giving to give, not to get, and helping others improve their lives. Good karma is a very powerful networking tool to use each and every day. 

Please leave comments here, or email them to Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call 360-314-8691. What other types of business practices would qualify as Gratitude Marketing?

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