A few days ago I went to an event to network. This scene may be all too familiar but it happens, without fail, each time: Walking into a networking event, you start to settle in by making some small talk with a colleague. As you begin to take in the room, you see it. The annoying-networking guy. He’s just making the rounds, pitching a sale, one after another, like an assembly line. As he gets closer, you realize you’re next.
Now, you may do one of two things: slowly walk in the other direction, or humor this person for as long as you can-simply “yes”-ing them until they feel satisfied.
I’ve always thought to myself, I wonder what this over-networker thinks of themself; do they think they’re doing a great job? I’m not sure if they realize that most people are smarter than that-they see through the one-sided-pitch from a mile away.
What makes this person so unbearable is that they are all ‘take’ and no ‘give’.
It’s Tough to Sell to a Salesperson
Now, especially at a sales event, the sales-pitch-networker is even worse. Salespeople’s lives revolve around selling-so being ‘sold to’ is not going to produce a good contact. Because of this, sales professionals have to be superior networkers in order to make value of the crowd. So how can they do this?
The best networking tips I have come across are from Inc.com. Click here to watch this short and well-made 3 minute video.
Another great tip from the site was left as a comment to the video, “Einstein once said: Be less a man of success and focus on being a man of value. Absolutely true… Prospecting and networking are two very distinct things.”
The idea of the video is give before you take. When networking, you should be listening to the other person’s needs first. Connect them to a source of help if you can, and do that often. Being the connector is a great way to become known for your value.