What do most entrepreneurs and business owners and self-employed people avoid and resist the most? Network marketing, also known as business networking. But, those words strike fear into the hearts of every business person who is looking to generate more business.
Business owners know that they should do business networking (network marketing). They know that it’s good for getting more business, and for getting a long-term stream of quality, ideal clients, with the added benefit of significantly reduced advertising costs. But, emotionally, business owners would almost rather write a check for a yellow page ad rather than put themselves in the uncomfortable position of having to meet new people at a business mixer.
The business mixer might be a Chamber of Commerce meeting, a MeetUp get together, a party at a friend’s house, a PTA meeting, a Rotary Club luncheon, a business fair, a church breakfast, or any event where business people – or really, a potential source of referrals – are present.
So, you’re at this event. The question is, how do you meet new people? What do you do? What do you say? The following conversation is very natural and works for me. It might work for you too.
1. Walk up, confidently, but in an unthreatening manner and say, “Hi, I’m ________,” and then be quiet.
2. They will almost always say their name. Sometimes they will say their name and whom they are with. Let them say as much as they want to say.
3. Make an authentic, positive comment about the event. If the speaker was terrible say – “It feels great to get up and walk around.” If the speaker was great say, “That speaker really made a good point about such and such.” Whatever you say, make it positive. Life is good in your world. That’s why other people are going to want to be in your world!
4. Pretty early on, ask, “So, what do you do?” Again, let them tell you as much as they want to tell you. Spend your time listening.
5. Decide if you think the relationship might be one that you might want to develop. If not, say, “Great to meet you,” and move on. If yes, then ask one or two questions that invite brief clarity on the issue that you think might be of mutual benefit. If, upon asking those one or two brief questions you still think that there might be a mutual benefit follow that up with something like,
6. “That’s interesting, my focus is _________ and it seems like you and I might have something worth following up on in more detail, what do you think?”
7. If they say yes, ask for their card, and ask if you could give them a call this ____ or ____. Regardless of the answer, thank them and move on.