A Tale of Two Networkers, Part 1

I ran into a Chamber member at lunch today. We talked a little bit about business. When I told him about my plans for improving the mixers, he stated that they just didn't work for him. I always have to pause when someone says something like this.

In this case, I didn't want to point out that he hadn't been to enough mixers to know if they worked or not. Instead, I said that networking events can lead to new customers, but they are also about developing relationships and that takes time.

He said, "I don't need to make friends, I need paying clients."

Whoa! At this point, I stopped thinking like a friend who wants to share information about networking and immediately switched over to thinking like a salesperson who needs to work on getting the reorder. In other words, I don't need to work on the friendship. I need to make sure he is going to renew his membership. So instead of promoting the benefits of networking to build relationships, I told him about events where he could prospect.

Do you see why I switched my thinking and my approach? This is a person who is not relationship-oriented. They aren't interested in the long-term, but instead are looking for transactions. In that case, I, too, can't look for the development of a mutually beneficial relationship. Instead, I will have to keep this person engaged with Chamber services that meet their transactional-thinking needs.

Maybe he has this philosophy because he's targeting doctors and lawyers for his service. {Insert your own lawyer joke here}. Maybe he thinks that he'll never need the services of someone else. Maybe he prefers to build his business on cold-calls and doesn't want referrals. I don't know. But I wonder how long his business is going to last if he doesn't want to make any friends. Too bad.

The second networker is a sharp contrast. But you'll have to check in tomorrow to hear about her...

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