Two Ways To Fail At Bussiness Networking

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Day 7 of the 100 blogs in 100 days challengeTwo ways to alienate people when you are networking

I go networking on a regular basis. I enjoy it. Most of the day I sit in front of a computer fiddling with websites and code. So when I get chance to interact with other human beings it's a real treat!

It's nice to meet different people and different personalities and find out what they do and how they run their businesses.

You can't get away from the fact, though, that people are there to get business for themselves or their company.

Now people go about this in different ways. Most people take the softly, softly approach.

The quote that gets repeated a lot is that people do business with people they know, like and trust.

So taking the softly, softly approach makes sense. First we have to get to know people, get to like them possibly, and then maybe we will do business with them.

There have been two instances when the people who I have been talking to have seemed blissfully unaware of this wisdom.

Please stop selling!

The first instance was someone who's services I though I could use. I had, in fact, already decided to use them but hadn't actually told them. But they just wouldn't stop selling to me. They didn't seem capable of just relaxing and having a friendly chat.

They were relentless, and the techniques they used unpleasant. It was like being on the forecourt of a second hand car dealers, and I was nothing more than a prospect who was about to go. They just didn't know when to stop.

All the time I was thinking to myself "just stop, please just stop, and you might get a sale". In the end I resolved that on this occasion they wouldn't be getting the sale.

Talk to me!

The second instance was also a sales pitch gone bad.

One of the networking events I go to is set up so that you have 10 minute 1-2-1 meetings with 3 other people there. It works really well and you get to meet some interesting people and make good contacts.

So at the last meeting I want to I sat down with my 1-2-1 and they proceeded to get out their tablet and show me a video advert for the company they worked for.

No getting to know me, no chatting, just straight in there with the video add that I hadn't asked to see. I wasn't given the choice!

Sorry, but I'm sat in front of a screen all day, I don't go to networking events to do more of that. I go there to talk to people and get to know them.

It was really quite insulting. When you think about it, what does that technique say about a person? To me it says: I have no interest in you, I am simply here to sell.

Well, I think, if you have no interest in me, how will you know how to provide me with a good service? Will you even care if you provide me with a good service?

I don't think so.

It just made me really angry. I was so surprised I didn't know what to say. But what I did resolve to do was not purchase their product.

What arethings don't you like when networking?

Building websites, what's involved (today)

So what did I get up to on day 7 of the 100 blogs challenge?

5 hours 38 minutes: Data collection and form validation for a client website

2 hours 9 minutes: Journal entries, doing graphics, restructuring content on my own website

1 hour 30 minutes: Twitter and networking forums

23 minutes: Email

21 minutes: Books & records

17 minutes: Trying to join a Microsoft anti-spam group

12 minutes: Research

9 minutes: Backing up server logs

Total: 10 hours 44 minutes

What I have found surprising is that I spend a lot less time dealing with emails than I thought I did. But probably still too much time on Twitter and Forums.

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Mike Nuttall

Author: Mike Nuttall

Mike has been web designing, programming and building web applications in Leeds for many years. He founded Onsitenow in 2009 and has been helping clients turn business ideas into on-line reality ever since. Mike can be followed on Twitter and has a profile on Google+.