Friday, January 22, 2010

Getting to Second Base

In a couple weeks I will be speaking at the Pittsburgh International Networking Day celebration. My topic is Turning Networking Dating into Networking Dollars. During this talk I will share the five bases of networking and how to gain a better ROI on networking time.

I need to take my own advice!

Last week I met with a new contact. This young woman said that she wanted to meet with me. I did not ask why -- stupid me.

Let's just put it this way. She started at the beginning of time focusing on her part in it and brought me along on her ride of history. Every detail. Stuff I really didn't want to know.

I kept trying to get a focus on the conversation to no avail. At one point I was speechless. I just didn't know what to ask next. I think my brain may have been lulled to sleep.

Finally, I asked something that I never ask on a networking appointment. I asked her if she wanted to buy from me. I know that is somewhat rude(when networking as opposed to selling), but I just didn't know what to do next and in my mind I figured it would flush out some point for the conversation.

Of course as I suspected, the answer was no. She explained that she was an expert networker and didn't need a course about networking. (I tried not to smirk.)

So don't do as I did. Don't go into a networking appointment blind. Or if you do, your energy may be sucked right out of you and you will have nothing to show for the time spent. And please don't get me wrong. It is sometimes fun to just meet people -- to find out about them -- as long as it is a conversation not a monologue.

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