Why don't people network properly? An interesting question was posed to me today. So I am going to give you "my" take on the answer. As a networking & follow-up expert, it's my opinion that people often go into networking events with the intention to "SELL" to the people at the event. WRONG! That is not why you go to networking events.
Unfortunately, too many networking events become a pitch-fest event. Everyone is telling each other what they can do for them and they may not even know that person "officially". This is not the way to build a network.
When you go to a networking event with the intention to gain business for the people at that event you are most likely going to come home very disappointed. WHY? Because people at networking events are most likely NOT your target market. They are there for the same reason you are... To Get Business.
Selling people in the room is not the way to go about building a network. The way you are going to get business from the people you network with is to build relationships with them FIRST! It's the people in "their" world that you may get business from. If by some small chance you do get direct business from the people you are networking with - it will be a very small percentage.
Take time to say hello. Spend ten minutes or longer having a nice conversation with them and based on the content of the conversation decide whether you want to continue getting to know them. Then "ASK" to exchange business cards with the intention to connect outside the event.
Build solid relationships with the people you network with and THEN WATCH how your business grows! Do THAT..and you will be networking not only properly, but you will start getting that Return of Engagement you are investing in!
I would love to connect.