Relationships are the basis of just about everything. Humans are a social being which appreciate the company of others, in general. As with any business, networking events hold a certain higher level of importance. In many terms, it can help determine the future of your business. During a couple networking events that I attended during the summer, I noticed that some people were trying to close a SALE during a networking event?!?!?!?!
I was taken aback by the approach from those people. I asked one person if they knew my needs and how their product was going to fix a shortcoming that my company or I have. The answer that I received was a very well memorized couple of phrases which was delivered without passion. My reply back was “Why are you here right now? Why do you network?” The person stopped, put some thought into their response and said “To increase sales!” Yes, networking can help to increase your sales but not at the networking event.
I enjoy going to networking events around the city. I go to these events for different reasons, depending on the people that are attending.
Development new relationships: Of course, one of the main reasons to attend networking events is to meet new people and create new relationships. Meeting and talking to someone at a networking event is just the start of the relationship. As with any relationship, constant attention and time is needed to help it grow. Those new relationships can develop into being a future resource, supplier, or customer.
Depending on the number of people at a networking event, I am looking to be able to have coffee or lunch with 2-5 people from the event. During the follow up meeting, more personal attention can be placed towards the other person.
Strengthen Old Relationships: As previously mentioned, attention is needed to help foster the growth and the attraction between people for a strong relationship. There is nothing wrong with attending a networking event and spending the time reconnecting with people you have met before.
Social Interaction: Being a solopreneur who works from home, networking events become an avenue where I can social contact with other people. That social interaction may help re-energize or re-vitalize someone to continue on for a productive week.
What networking events do you like to attend? What is your reason for attending those specific events?
Have a great week!
Kevin MacDonald is a Business Consultant at L6S Business Consulting Inc (www.L6SBC.ca). L6S offers services in management consulting, Controller and CFO contracting, and lean management with either project work or teaching/mentoring of staff. Kevin has his CMA accounting designation along with a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma.
Kevin is active in the community by volunteering for different groups and donates platelets at the Canadian Blood Services clinic on a bi-weekly basis.