"I discreetly look around the room desperately hoping that I see a familiar face to save me"
Hi I'm Anthony, what's your name....
"Hi, pleasure to meet you, I'm John, I've spent the last 15 years building business relationships and saving companies thousands, and we can help you to...." I hope he takes a breath and tries to have a normal conversation, rather than reciting his ingrained sales pitch. I discreetly look around the room desperately hoping that I see a familiar face to save me, they know what I'm going through, surely they'll help!?
I'm out of luck, this is a new group and I'm on my own, this might be a rough morning...
Suddenly I'm back in the room, he hands me his card, tells me he's super interested in my line of work, and would love to get together some time, that's great I think, except I've just about got my name out before he activated his pitch, yet somehow he knows everything about me, I'm unnerved by the thought of him being psychic and somehow knowing everything Im thinking, I pause expecting a reaction as I think something unfriendly.... nope - nothing, excellent!
Cheers John, I think I'll spend some time with someone that is actually interested in finding a potentially beneficial working relationship.
Excessive rant over, for now at least.
I'm relatively new to the networking world but I've had my fair share of the above, I can't blame these guys really, they just haven't learnt the finite nuances that are networking events or you know ... basic communication!
Not everyones this bad, but it's fun to tell that kind of story, now I'll attempt to add some value to your life.
Networking as many people will tell you is about balance:
- If you can listen without being sheepish or quiet,
- If you can talk without rambling or carrying on,
- If you can be confident without being cocky,
- If you can ask questions, but not as an opportunity to talk about yourself,
"If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!"
....sorry, I couldn't help but end that with Mr Kipling's exceedingly good poem (my jokes are getting worse) and to networkers the 60 seconds line might bring a smile.
Listen carefully, be careful what, and how much you say but ultimately be natural. The more you listen, the more you'll learn and the better your chances of finding those situations to help the other guy, and in return they'll help you... hopefully.