3 Ways Networking Is Just Like Dating
When I started dating, (as my kids say “back when the dinosaurs roamed”) at first it was awkward, uncomfortable and it sucked. I didn’t know what to say, how to stand, what to wear. I was a hot mess, but the more i did it the easier it got.
Once I opened my business and started networking it felt like i had done this before. I didn’t know what to say, how to stand…etc.
The goal is to meet new people.
In either case you want to meet new people. I remember being at a networking event and I saw someone I had meet at other events. He said hello, exchanged a few sentences, then said “I already know you, I want to meet new people.”
He was right, you want to cast as wide a net as you can. This is true when you are looking for new business and when you are looking for a partner. The more people you meet, the better the chances of making a sale, or finding a partner.
You are hunting/pursuing.
You’re looking for people that are a good fit for you. When I go to networking events the conversation usually starts with an elevator pitch. This is a great way to weed out who is good for you and who isn’t.
I’m looking for the ideal client or referral source where there is synergy. In dating, it’s the same kind of thing, you ask some basic deal breaking questions like “What kind of music do you listen to.” or “What was the last good book you read.”
You go out on a date..ish.
You have the follow up breakfast/lunch. After the networking event I schedule a follow up breakfast meeting to get to know each other and strategize on how to help each other in business. I have been to many breakfast meetings sometimes it’s not so great, other times you find a kindred spirit.
Through this process I have found the 20% rule applies. 20% of the people you meet will help in your business. Like most things in life it is work, but once you figure out how to navigate it can almost be fun.