Business networking. Aaarrrggghhhh….. I can just hear the groans. My colleagues and clients alike give so many reasons why they don’t want to participate in networking events.
But you can’t operate a business successfully in a vacuum. And it’s pretty darn lonesome if that’s what you’re trying to do. Business networking is critical for building your community – not just of clients, but of resources and colleagues for you.
See if any of these objections sound like you. Then check out the suggestions to overcome them so you can turn networking into something positive for yourself and your business.
- It takes too much time. It’s not worth it.
A solution is to be choosy about the events you do attend. Make sure there are people attending that you want to meet. And maximize your travel time. Go with a mastermind buddy and strategize during your ride. Or listen to educational or inspirational recordings on your iPod. Load it with those freebie downloads you never get around to hearing.
- I don’t have the perfect elevator speech.
Actually, your words are responsible for only 7% of message. The other 93% of your message is conveyed through your facial expression, body language and vocal tone. So keep working on that speech, but don’t worry so much about it. Relax and try your latest version and watch the response you get. Notice THEIR body language. Try something different with the next person and see how that goes. Have some fun with it!
- It’s boring with bad food – a waste of time.
Make your own excitement. It’s really all about attitude. You can spark up the whole room if you want to. What are you going to BRING to the event? Focus on that rather than what you’re going to take away. And who cares about the quality of food? That’s now what you’re there for. With a shift of priorities, these objections vanish.
- I’m uncomfortable meeting new people, especially in a new place.
It can help to realize you only have to meet a couple of people at a time. And remember –you’re new to them, too. You’re all in the same boat here. Focus on putting THEM at ease, and your discomfort evaporates.
- I’m afraid they’ll reject me.
This may really be a fear of not knowing what to do if you ARE rejected. So it’s really a fear of being unprepared. The answer is to create a line to use if somebody is unresponsive, and practice it. For instance, “I see I’ve caught you at a bad time. Hope you enjoy the event.” Then move on. No big deal.
With a shift in perspective and a few new strategies, you may find business networking will be much more productive for you. Try these tips and let us know how it goes. What tips do you have to share?
And if you want outside help in overcoming your blocks to attending networking events,
contact me and together we’ll eliminate those barriers for you.