12NETWORKING THE SALES BADASSERY WAYSales Badasses Don’t Network, They Leverage Networking

The Loser’s Networking Strategy

I used to be a sales loser before I became a Sales Badass. It’s okay. Most of us have been. It’s all part of the learning process, so I’ll describe the loser’s networking strategy.

First, they arrive at the networking mixer, pay or show their ticket or whatever, and then mistake number one usually happens: They go to the bar and get a drink.

The reason is to have something in hand, because everyone else has one, but the larger reason is that the sales loser is nervous about talking to strangers and needs some “liquid courage” to get warmed up. The problem is that alcoholic drinks have a tendency to inebriate people and cause cognitive impairment, which alone can kill any chances of making solid, powerful connections. That’s why I keep hammering home the point that you must not drink at these functions. Save that for another time.

He’ll bounce from group to group and try to introduce himself and make small talk. More often than not he’ll be in a group yet not be in the conversation, but rather just observing and listening because he can’t get a word in.

Finally he ends up finding some friendly fellow sales reps and hangs out with them. They’ll complain about the usual stuff, talk about how they never make any good connections at these events, how they’re full of salespeople also wanting to sell something, and spend the evening like they would at any other ...

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