A six year old girl steps up on the wooden platform, looks around, puts her hands on her hips and her nose in the air, and declares “It’s not a real stage.”
Curiosity gets the better of me.
I ask “Why do you say it’s not a real stage?”
“It’s made of wood.”
20 minutes later the “stage” is packed with kids at the nightly dance party.
And she ends up having a really good time.
And it gets me thinking about your Elevator Pitch.
Because I’ve heard all the excuses.
“The room was packed.”
“The room was empty.”
“I didn’t know anyone.”
“I already knew everyone.”
Every reason it’s not a “real” opportunity.
Any time you talk to someone.
It’s a real opportunity.
To start a conversation.
To make a connection.
That leads to leads.
Here are 3 ways to seize opportunities:
1. Hold ’em
Other than your business.
Practice not mentioning your business.
Until someone asks.
If they don’t ask.
They weren’t interested anyway.
Networking events are for starting conversations.
What question starts your best conversations?
2. Fold ’em
Some folks go to networking events to network.
Some go to talk about themselves.
Seek out the former.
Politely shake hands with the latter.
Tell them it was nice meeting them.
And find someone who wants to network.
If you can’t get a word in edgewise.
That’s not networking…
What do you talk about at networking events?
3. Walk Away (or Run)
Find 3 people interesting enough for a further conversation.
And declare success.
Networking is about starting business relationships.
Long term business relationships.
It takes time.
It takes multiple conversations.
So start a conversation.
And follow up with one-on-ones.
What’s your definition of networking success?