When Traditional Networking Is Not Working
Over the last 10 years, and especially in the past 5, formalized networking events have become a popular venue for professionals to meet and interact—and they, too, have their place in the networking recipe. But while community and industry gatherings can attract a lot of people, they don’t necessarily attract the right people, that is, the ones who’ll do you the most good. Buyers, or those in positions of influence, don’t always attend. In fact, they occasionally make a point of purposely staying away. Networking events attract sellers, and there is only one thing worse than a room full of sellers with no buyers, and that’s a room full of sellers with only a handful of buyers.
In fact, the people you find in coffee shops, at restaurants, in bars, at airports, on airplanes, at sporting events, and at social gatherings represent even more potential, because you are more than likely meeting them when they are most relaxed, accessible, and most available—in short, when they are most themselves. In a traditional networking setting, people are apt to be barraging your potential contact with demands for his or her attention. Individuals, especially those in a position of power, tend to erect a wall of sorts when they know that others will be approaching and asking for something. However, when you meet these same people outside the framework of traditional networking, you often find them at their most unguarded and mentally and emotionally ...