One of my favourite things to do is networking. There are so many interesting people in the world, and the more events you get to, the likelier you are to meet the people that will make a difference in your life and business. It’s also great to do a bit of people watching while at these events, to see how other people approach networking.
It can become pretty obvious when someone is a little too eager to try and sell themselves or their business, and it can turn people off quickly. I’ve always been a firm believer that your initial few minutes of meeting someone should include trying to connect with them on at least one of these fundamentals: vision, value or purpose. Once you have a connection it will be easier to have a natural conversation about what you do, what services you may offer, and if you think you have something to offer them.
But when people come out of the gate sounding like gypsies selling a magical snake oil remedy that you can’t live without, that chance to have an authentic connection is lost. It’s more important to build the value of your fundamentals than to claw desperately at a chance to make some money. In this life I’ve learned it’s not always about what I know, but who I know, so I try hard to avoid coming off as a snake oil salesman, instead searching for meaningful interactions that leave all parties involved feeling like they’ve gained something. This has proven to be an effective method for me time and time again. And the more I practice it, the more the opportunity to collaborate with different people presents itself.
So instead of looking at your next networking event as a chance to sell, sell, sell, remember that connecting with people and showing them who you really are is the most effective secret weapon to assist in selling yourself or your business.