You go to networking event after networking event. You meet lots of great people and have fun. But none of it seems to convert into business.
You work your butt off on twitter providing interesting content and reaction. You’ve nearly 1500 followers…and yet, no one currently wants your services.
Fact is: you can be brilliant at what you do, have something marvellous to offer, but if the people you’re talking to don’t want it…
Fact is: people can think you’re lovely, fascinating, hot even, but they still won’t want what you offer.
Fact is: peer group pressure causes many of us to think ‘I should be networking more’ But where you need to build reputation and standing amongst a clearly identified tribe, you may be better off creating quality free content, staying at home and spreading it online.
Here are some suggestions to get a better return on your energy, live:
• Your minds eye needs a clear detailed picture of someone who benefits from what you offer. An individual you can picture, with a sense of what grabs them and distracts them.
• Where do they hang out specifically online and offline?
• Could you benefit more from a 1-2-1 with them – to drill into what they like and don’t like? Would lunch/coffee following an online approach be more effective? You can always offer to pay them for intelligence/mentoring on an occasional basis.
• When you’re meeting people, effective early questions include:
– How does your business work?
– Where do you make your money?
– What are your future plans?
It is sensible to turn up with tangible evidence of what you do really well.
Networking is a dance where we seek shared vested interest. Even with close competitors there may be scope to collaborate where you have slightly different strategy for moving forward and different strengths. They could use your creativity maybe and you could use their commercial savvy. How are you similar, different and can you spell out early and directly that there are areas where you need not compete?
Fact is: Networking can be huge fun, and we can do it just to meet people and learn stuff in an informal and unexpected way. We can get a sense of community with others in similar role or the same location. All lovely fuzzy warm stuff.
But where you want business and profitability – then time to get forensic.