Recently I have attended a number of networking events. I am curious by “those people” I meet that quickly exchange a business card, give me their five minute spiel, and ask “what do you do” (with out really wanting to know) and move on. For some reason this scenario reminds me of Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi lyrics: [clear]
Ready for those flashing lights
Cause you know that Baby,
I’m your biggest fan
I’ll follow you until you love me
My question is this. Other than having another name to add to the newsletter list (no, I was not asked), what do they really expect to happen? Are they hoping that their name on a business card will cause me to be their “biggest fan” and that I will be looking for every opportunity to send them business?
I created a poll on LinkedIn to get some honest feedback on this very question. Please take a moment to let me know what you think.
Most business development requires developing relationships.
The word networking – when you look it includes the word WORK. That means that in order for you to have the opportunity to generate business – there is WORK involved!
So the first step is to determine a plan to take this business card and turn it into a relationship. I say this a lot and I am sure my Gen Y daughter one day will prove me wrong, but I don’t believe you create relationships through technology. Adding someone to your newsletter mailing is one way communication. A relationship should be where you both are receiving value.
Think about your next step with this person you just met? It is going to require personal contact to start. Maybe it’s a call, a cup of coffee or lunch that gives you both the opportunity to learn more.
So you meet. What next? It is highly unlikely that a first meeting will produce immediate results. In fact there are statistics out there from the National Sales Association that indicate that 80% of sales require between 5-12 touches. What do you think happens in those 5-12 touches? Could it be a relationship forms?
Relationships require multiple touches, which means creating a system to stay in touch and stay top of mind is key. What is your system for staying in touch?