If you’re in business, attending networking events is necessary. Especially if you are a business-to-business firm, there’s simply nothing quite as effective as meeting people in person.
But these events can make you feel as if you are wearing loud stripes and shouting ‘I’m prey’ in the midst of a pack of predators. Uncomfortable. Squirmy. Self-Conscious. About to be eaten.
Many attendees show up, business cards gripped in sweaty hands. Their canned, insincere elevator speeches and manic 30 second sales presentations are delivered in a rehearsed ‘radio personality’ tone. You consider bolting for the door. You spy crackers and coffee on a table in the corner– it’s dinnertime, and your brain is running on empty.
All you really want to do is share how your business can help others. Gain understanding into their challenges and brainstorm together to find solutions.
Most networking events simply don’t produce results. Why? There’s no relationship. It’s kind of like speed dating – everyone feels they need to list their best attributes right up front to make a good impression, and in doing so manage to look desperate and predatory.