We walk the gauntlet, eyes down, mumbling no thank yous to every hawker who jumps in front of us to offer us a horse-drawn carriage ride. It feels like the wild west. Desperation hangs in the air. But not for us. My wife is on the phone with the horse-drawn carriage we pre-booked for our family ride through Central Park.
So we ask for “Frank,” and the nearest salesman begrudgingly directs us to a location two blocks away.
And it gets me thinking about your Elevator Pitch.
Because I’m sure he’s dumbfounded as to how Frank scooped his sale.
And given that he knows where Frank is, it’s certainly not the first (or last) time it will happen.
Come to think of it, the same thing happens every day at networking events. The person shouting their Elevator Pitch the loudest is surprised (and frustrated) when people run right past them to talk to someone who was standing quietly off to the side.
How does that happen?
Key insight: They already knew that person.
Relationships form outside the event. They have to. Trust develops over weeks and months, not in seconds. Certainly not in 30 seconds.
My wife found the horse-drawn carriage online.
He had great pictures and a bunch of positive reviews.
She could choose a starting time for the ride.
So she typed in her credit card.
He called to confirm.
He texted us occasionally.
So, and here’s the key, it didn’t matter how loud the hawkers shouted. We were sold long before we arrived on 6th avenue.
The same is true at networking events.
The successful people, the people who get results from networking, started meeting people long before this particular event.
They show up consistently.
They invite people to coffee.
They send articles and ideas.
We started getting to know our driver a month before we arrived in New York City.
That’s why we were looking for one particular horse among dozens.
People with existing relationships stand out in any crowd.
How are you getting to know people?