Originally Posted on October 22, 2012
Do you attend networking events with the sole purpose of selling your product or service?
People attend networking events to make connections and get to know their local businesses. People do not attend events to be sold to. When you push your product or service at a networking event, you are losing the chance to build a networking relationship that could lead to numerous referrals.
Put away your business cards, flyers and samples. If a table is available, this would be the appropriate place to leave this information. Instead of selling, engage the people you are meeting. Ask questions about their business and find out what they do. As you engage in dialogue, you will both talk about what you do and, in doing so, find mutual connections on which to build a relationship. Try to ask for a business card instead of offering one as an unwanted card is unlikely to gain you a sale. Make sure to look at the business card you receive and acknowledge the person you are speaking to.
When you change your networking goal from making a sale to building a relationship, you will actually increase awareness of yourself and your business thus leading to future business possibilities.