… Even though they might be your ideal client?
I recently had one of my clients on the phone who told me she hated networking events, because every time she goes she spends her entire time talking to 1 person. Not because she really wants to, but because these people want to confide their problems in her.
She is a consultant who helps business owners solve all kinds of employee-related problems. You can imagine every business owner has a story to tell about ‘difficult’ employees. And so they tell her that story.
What’s even worse, she feels obliged to listen AND to give away lots of free tips and tricks… during the whole event!!! Can you imagine that?
If you stick around with the same person the entire time, even though you found common ground and he/she might be a potential client…
you are not doing a good job…
… with regards to networking that is.
- There are most probably a lot of other interesting people to meet at that event, and you are missing that opportunity
- Talking real business in a crowded room is not the ideal situation, particularly for high-sensitive people
- You might be wasting your interlocutors time too, he/she might be too shy to get out of the conversation
We’ve all attended networking events (I hope you do!). And for lots of different reasons, from wanting to meet new friends to hoping to sign new clients to being really interested in the guest speaker. But whatever your reasons for going, don’t forget that the overall purpose of a networking event is to network.
I looked up a definition of networking on google:
“interact with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts”.
OtherSSSSSSSSS, not 1 person.
Now how do you get rid of that person in a simple way and without offending him or her?
Well, as I mentioned before, at networking events people are there to network. So just use that reason to get out of the conversation.
Here are two scenario’s:
“I can see that you are struggling with an important issue and I’d be delighted to talk about it in more detail. However, this is not the right location nor situation and I do not want to take up all your time. I’m sure you want to meet other people. How about I give you a call tomorrow and we set-up a meeting to get a look at your situation. I’m sure I can help you figure out a way to solve it. That is what I do, solve all employee-related problems.”
The last sentence is important, that way the person knows what your business is and shouldn’t ask for free advice.
“I’m having a great time talking with you, and I promised myself I would try and meet three new people at today’s event. I’m sure you want to meet other people too. What if you give me your business card and I call you tomorrow to meet up another time for a coffee? Would that be OK for you?“
You see? Very polite, no harm done. It’s not that difficult to get rid of people at networking events, even though they have really interesting things to say.
Tell me, do you have any suggestions on handling these situations? I’d love to hear your views on this. Please leave a reply in the box below