“If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there.” – Martin Blank
Reason number 1,030,394 why ITintheD.com was started was because of this guy. Greedy networking guy. The whole purpose of him networking is to get leads. “GIMME LEADS! I NEED LEADS! LEADS LEADS LEADS! NOM. NOM. NOM!” The beauty is, they aren’t even shy about it, they Tweet about it, they Facebook about it, they email about it.
“Going to XYZ Networking function, looking for leads!”
Well, isn’t that great.
Didn’t we learn in Kindergarten that being greedy was bad?
So why in the business world do we think that meeting complete strangers, then asking them to open their book of business and then giving up your entire network is a strong business practice? Personally, I have been in business 15 years in this town and to think I am going to give up my book to some guy I met in the backroom of some 2-star restaurant? Yea, isn’t going to happen.
Even worse that “that guy” is “that group”. I remember when I first started networking, it was sales guys selling to sales guys…I figured something about this picture had to be wrong. I mean, I looked around, no one from management, no buyers, no techies.
I thought, wouldn’t buyers and decisions makers love the opportunity to meet all of the sales guys in town and then find someone they trust to do business with? Well, then I found out real fast why…
“Sales guy X” wanted leads. He, like Veruca Salt, wasn’t satisfied with waiting. He wanted it NOW!
He wasn’t satisfied with a business card, small talk and building a relationship, he wanted to do an entire presentation and close him right there<rolls eyes>. And the worst part is, the groups in question were based on it. They promoted it, they reveled in it, they thought it was “networking” just because there was people in the room. I am sorry to say, but they just don’t get it.
I mean for crying out loud, there are groups out there that force you to give up your book of business in order to get (a half-ass’ed lead from a half-ass’ed source). I mean, how ridiculous is that!?
<Preaching to the choir> Networking is a process. A long process. It’s like dating (but for business). It takes time. It takes genuine interest. It takes understanding there is more to business than “leads”. </preaching to the choir>
So if you ever run into “that guy”, I would honestly call him out on it….Better yet, just run.
Until next time…