As business people we are always on the “hunt” for new prospects or customers. We tend to become so focused on this path that we have blinders on to everything else.
When someone comes up to us at a networking event we can become so focused on making sure that they know what we do that we forget everything else.
I have had 20 minute conversations with people and had them walk away and I don’t even know their name. This is because they are so focused on telling me what they do and how they can help me and what kind of referrals they are looking for that I am pretty sure they forget to tell me the most simple thing….their name.
Here is another common thing that happens…
I am at a networking event and someone comes up to me. They say hello and tell em their name. I tell them my name and then before another sentence is said they launch into their pitch.
They tell me how they have been in business for over a year and they quickly ask if I have a website. I barely say yes when they move on. They go on to tell me all about how they can help me “optimize” my website and get me to the first page of Google. They can get me in all the online “yellow pages” sites and have customers banging down my door to do business with me and coming to my shop and buying my products and services and my phones will be ringing off the hook. All for ONLY $____ a month.
I generally listen politely because I always find this pitch amusing. (Sadly I have heard it a ton of times ).
After a few minutes they tend to run out of pitch. So I politely ask them a couple of questions, for my own curiosity. Things like “What sites will you add me to?” And “Do YOU do the work?”.
They, seeing a possible sale, rush to assure me that I will be on dozens of sites and that they don’t actually do the work “they have people” that do.
They then ask “So do you want to set up a meeting and get started?”
This is where I have to break their hearts. Mind you we are now about 10-20 minutes into this exchange. And now they are going to discover they have completely wasted their time, and mine to be honest, but they seem so desperate I don’t have the heart to stop them.
I explain to them that I don’t have a store front. I explain to them that I don’t particularly care if my phone rings since I am an internet based business. I explain to them that I am already on the first page in Google, in fact I can tell them I am #1-20 on Google depending on how you search. I explain to them that I know how to get on everyone of the sites they “get me on” for free. And then the last one…
I explain to them that I have a course that I sell for $197 one time fee, instead of $XXX per month forever, that will not only teach people how to do what they are selling, but also how to do 3 other marketing tactics 100% for free other than a few hours of their time.
This is usually when they politely thank me, sometimes not so politely, and wander off in search of their next victim.
I say victim kind of tongue in cheek, but sometimes unfortunately this is how these people make you feel.
If they had taken 2 minutes to ask a couple of questions about me, my business, my business model, etc. They would have saved themselves and me a ton of time. They would have saved themselves the heartache and frustration of doing their entire pitch only to discover that it was in vain.
But they had blinders on.They were so focused on them and their objectives that they forgot the point. They forgot to look for prospects. See, I am not their prospect. I am not their target market. But I might be a good connection for them. I meet people all the time that just want “someone to do it for them”. Of course now that I have been accosted I am certainly not going to send my customers over to this person. But that is another story
So when you are out networking be sure you are networking effectively. Networking is about building relationships, not about pitching your products and services. Are you making the most of your networking?