Networking Tip #26

Don't Sell

If you think networking events are perfect sales opportunities, you're not alone.  However, the biggest mistake many people make while networking is thinking that networking events are a good time for launching their sales pitch.  They quickly discover that "selling" is also the quickest way to fail.

Why?  Because people don't want to be sold to. They don't want an open brochure thrust in their face. They hate being bombarded with unwelcome pitches for products or services.

After all, they would then have to say "No!"  And many people are uncomfortable with rejecting others, so don't put them into that position.  When you make people feel uncomfortable in your presence, they'll want to avoid you in the future.  And that definitely won't help you sell anything.

But what if you come across your ideal prospect who wants to find out more about what you have to offer?  Maybe he or she even asks about purchasing your products or services?

Don't fall into that trap.  No, the trap isn’t intentional, but it ends up working against you anyway. 

Do not pull out your brochure.  Instead, focus on building rapport first - and schedule a follow-up meeting where you can get to know each other better and can fully discuss their needs and what you might be able to do for them.

The easiest way to avoid making the "selling" mistake is to remember – networking is about connecting, not selling. Seek to develop relationships, gain visibility and uncover referral opportunities and over time you’ll gain many more clients from your networking efforts.