Where’s the best ice cream in your town? Where is the most outstanding breakfast place? What would be a hidden gem that you would want someone visiting your area not to miss? Isn’t it fun to help people with these “insider secrets?”
Of course it is.
You just earned your master’s degree in networking at a business mixer.
Yup. You see a lot of people go to Chamber mixers or attend other networking functions with the idea of passing out as many of their own business cards or telling as many people about their own business as they possibly can. Makes sense, right? You go. Sell, sell, sell. And then the business will come flooding in.
And then it doesn’t. Why?
You didn’t establish a relationship. You also shook hands and immediately began selling. Might as well work at Sam’s Used Clunkers, get a plaid jacket and white leather shoes, my friend, because you are now a used car salesmen and you’re not selling the certified cars, it’s the ones with the banana in the transmission.
There is not one person on this planet who likes to be sold. None. By hard selling with every breath all you’re doing is putting people off. Might as well eat an onion and garlic sandwich because people don’t want to talk to someone who’s selling them.
So how do you network?
Remember the example above. Telling a visitor to your area where to get the best breakfast. How to find that hidden gem in your area? And doesn’t it feel good to be a resource? It feels great for the tourist, too!
If people know you’re the go-to person to find information they’re going to enjoy talking to you. The more you help others, the more you help yourself! They also know that, by sharing what they are passionate about with you that you’re going to share that with others and that will help them.
So when they think of the best person who hand crafts plastic widgets and you’re the widget person guess who they’re going to feel really enthused about recommending? In fact, the more you enroll others in the fact that you’re a great resource for them, the more they’re going to turn to you.
I love doing this myself. I love knowing about my region and telling others about it. Funny thing, I get a lot of requests from people who ask about things in my destination. And then we talk about websites and blogs and such. And then, suddenly, I’m a little busier helping them with theirs.
I used to be the pushy salesman guy at Chamber mixers and I might as well have worn dead fish instead of deodorant. I’ve since learned that, by helping others achieve their goals, others are thrilled about helping me achieve mine.
And, as I love to say any time I get a chance, when everybody wins. Everybody wins.