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Networking is NOT Just Talking About the Weather

When you attend events to meet new people, what’s your goal?

After your Who, What, Who, What intro (name, title, organization, what you do) and they have done the same, what’s next?

You are both going through a ritual to identify common ground – looking for something in which you share an interest.

One topic you share in common is the other person’s business – find out what keeps them up at night.

Then you can see how to be of help – your services or products, a trusted referral, similar personal experience and results, or staying alert for a solution to the problem.

Going to an event without thinking of what you want to get out of it, you may come away with several opinions about the weather.

With a goal, you may come away with a sale, or at least the beginning of a new relationship.

Which is a better ROI for your time?

Your thoughts?

Come to the Capital Technology Management Hub, June 14th, for Sales Lab Rainmaker #6: ‘Networking – Are You Being Served?’

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Jeff Ribeira

Great advice! I can attest that networking can indeed lead to some awkward conversations if you don’t come prepared. It’s always a good idea to have a few solid questions on hand to help jump start those short first encounters. I might just have to borrow the “what keeps you up at night?” question…

I personally would much rather come away with a relationship. Even if it was a short meeting, with a little nurturing, that relationship could potentially last a lifetime and lead to even greater expansion of your network, which in turn, of course, increases your possibilities on so many other fronts (sales, job opportunities, mentoring, new golfing buddy, whatever else you want from your networks).

Alicia Mazzara

This is good advice that I think applies to networking or any sort of small talk in general. You want to find out what people are passionate about and get them talking about it. It may turn out that you don’t have a lot in common, but it’s still a lot more enlightening than talking about the weather.

Jack Gates

Thanks for your thoughts. It is also useful to have a couple of practiced stories in your back pocket as well – to demonstrate a point, show results, or give depth to the topic.

Can’t wait till I hear the person next to me asking what keeps you up at night…I’ll know you’re there, Jeff.

Jack Gates

Hi Andrew:

I have seen your piece on networking and it is well done – good map of the process and particularly the care and feeding of the folks who help out – how rewarding to get a note from someone with an update – even better … your referral led to a job or project!


Jack Gates

Hi Alicia:

Thanks for your comments on networking. True that this works with any social setting – school functions, weddings, even standing in line at the store…you never know where or when you will meet someone who you can help or can help you.

Another point about choice of talking about the weather and finding that you don’t have anything in common with the person you are talking with – you can do something about the latter!

Take care.