Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Business Networking Is NOT a Sales Call

The most important thing any entrepreneur does, aside from taking action on their ideas, is meeting people.

Networking – the idea has sent a chill up the spines of many – putting yourself out there for public viewing isn’t an easy task.

Though some mistakenly take networking as an opportunity to make a sale.

I hate it – no – I despise it – when I exchange business cards with someone, agree to meet up with them to talk business, and the first thing they do is force me to watch a sales presentation, then immediately after try to close a sale.

Although in a sense, you are always selling something, WHAT you are selling during networking isn’t your products or services.

YOU are the only thing that matters during a networking event, because it is YOU that is being sold.

How knowledgeable, resourceful, helpful, encouraging and inspiring YOU are is what really matters. Because networking is NOT about making a sales call, it’s about assisting others with their business.

WTF? You ask yourself – how do I grow my business, by helping others?

The greater your professional circles, the greater your business success.

Although you may not have an immediate need for someone in the business of widgets, you never know who that person knows that can help you in your business.

It isn’t always what you know, but WHO.

There’s a story, about a man, hired by IBM to create an operating system for their then-new line of personal computers, the original IBM PC. This man was a computer genius, and created the IBM Disk Operating System (IBM-DOS) which launched the original IBM PC and later the IBM PCjr to stardom in the 1980’s.

However, like many genius’, he didn’t get along well with his bosses over at Big Blue. So he left, and brought with him some associates he made at IBM, to create a rival operating system as he went down his own career path.

That man was Bill Gates, and that rival operating system was Microsoft’s MS-DOS, which IBM itself started using with it’s PCs, and later MS-Windows, which run the majority of the world’s computers today.

Bill Gates would never have built Microsoft without his prior experiences, knowledge and contacts from his days at IBM.

And you’ll never build anything in the business, or personal world either, if you try to go it alone, without anyone’s help.

However, you’ll be alone in the world, if every time you go to a meetup, a networking function, or even a personal function, shove your business card in front of everyone you meet, and try to sell them your products and services.

That’s NOT very helpful.

But if you offer to help others as you meet them, you’ll be amazed and delighted with just how far in business – and in life – you’ll go.

SO next time you think about pitching someone, think again. And just ask them: “how can I help you?”

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