Last week, I talked about networking events and how they are my favorite way to find clients.
One thing I didn’t address was the fact that so many people hate the idea of going to an event like this – yes, I know it’s true.
Let’s talk about the two big barriers to attending networking events.
The first is that you actually need to break from your routine to leave your warm, cozy office (and all the items on your never ending to do list).
The second is you need to – gasp – meet people (the horror!) and overcome the fear of rejection when you get there (it can feel like the first day of school all over again).
So, we hide behind our computers and try to meet people in cyberspace.
Unfortunately, social networking is not the same as in person networking.
Why? For one thing, it is really hard to get people to buy things online.
Especially when you are new and don’t have a reputation.
So, you need to overcome the fear of rejection and leave the house.
First, let me assure you that fear of rejection is normal, but you can’t let it impact your business.
I know it can be scary to put yourself on the line.
And having people say no to your product can feel like they are saying no to you. Or make it seem like there is something wrong with you or they don’t like you.
(Why would you think that? You are lovely!)
Not convinced yet?
Think about this: you are at a restaurant for dinner, and the waiter comes around to ask if you want dessert. If you say no, do you think they go into the back and start crying?
Of course not! It’s not personal. There are a ton of reasons why you may not want dessert right now (diet, time, fullness…). Whatever the reason, it probably doesn’t have anything to do with the waiter.
Why would your business be any different?
Hint: it isn’t.
If that example doesn’t work for you, think back to that old line your mom used to tell you:
They are more afraid of you than you are of them.
You are not the only person at the networking event that is having anxiety about the process.
Other attendees are also fearing rejection, having high school flashbacks, and wondering if they will be spending the entire day being “sold” to.
So, why not be something different than they expect?
If you can be the person that doesn’t focus your attention on making the sale, but instead works to build solid relationships, you will be so much better off.
You can be the breath of fresh air that makes a networking event fun and useful for others.
Show the people there how fantastic you are and make an effort to really listen to what they have to say. Channel your energy into being relentlessly helpful instead of selling, and people will migrate towards you.
That will help you build a great reputation, which is the first step in getting people to buy from you.
So, have you signed up for your month of networking yet? Tell us where you will be going in the comments.
Until then… stay passionate!