The blind spot detector on my loaner Mazda 6 lights up as the car on my left appears in my side-view mirror. That’s right. There’s a simple way to eliminate blind spots.
Yet no one does it.
In fact, it’s such a safety problem that car manufactures have gone to great expense to create blind spot detectors.
All because in Driver-Ed we’re taught the wrong way to adjust our mirrors.
That adjustment creates the blind spot.
It’s not a problem with the equipment.
It’s a problem with how everyone is taught to use it.
And learning the new way?
I’ll admit that it took a few days to get used to the new mirror positions.
It’s jarring not to see your own car anymore in your own mirrors.
Yet, I know where my car is.
I want to see the cars around me.
And it gets me thinking about your Elevator Pitch.
Because we train blind spots into our business networking.
Any time you
- Change your Elevator Pitch based on your audience
- Study attendance lists before attending an event
- Ask someone you’ve just met for a referral
- Ask one of your clients for a referral
- Follow up on the business cards you collected from an event
You’re missing the very opportunities that make business networking fun, exciting, and, yes, profitable.
So here are five ways to adjust your business networking mirrors to finally see the opportunities that are all around you.
1. Your Elevator Pitch
Talk about a recent client success.
Nobody learns anything from your name, title, and number of years in business.
In fact, it makes you invisible.
Because no one is going to sign up with you based on your years in business.
They will sign up with you to help them solve their business problems.
When you talk about how you helped a real client solve their real problem, you can be sure there are other people in the audience who know people who are trying to solve that same problem.
That’s what generates qualified leads.
2. Attendance Lists
Studying attendance lists just sets you up for disappointment.
People blow off networking events all the time.
Especially important people.
And complaining that you can’t connect with that perfect person is not a productive (or profitable) way to start business conversations with the people who are actually at the event.
Forget about the attendance lists.
Go to the event and talk to the people who are actually there.
3. Asking Strangers for Referrals
They just met you.
They aren’t going to share their best contacts with you yet.
And if they do, then that’s not a good sign about the strength of their network.
You have to get to know people.
Share your client success stories.
Before they’ll be willing to introduce you to their inner circle.
4. Asking Clients for Referrals
If they knew of someone they would send them along.
If you have to ask, you haven’t earned it.
And why would you ever want to introduce awkwardness into your client relationships?
5. Follow up from business cards
A lot of people confuse getting a business card with making a connection.
And if you’re making more than 5 connections at an event, you’re really just collecting business cards.
And if you have a reason to follow up with someone, getting their card is just a shortcut for them writing down their contact information.
That’s the key.
Find the people you enjoy talking to.
And get their business card so you can set up a 1-to-1.
The other is just cold calling.
Stick to networking.
What blind spots have you overcome in your networking efforts? Leave a comment in the chat box below.
If you are looking to become more aware of the opportunities that are all around you, I offer one-on-one Elevator Pitch coaching sessions to help you talk about what you do in a way that gets people excited about what you do.