How to get your fill from Business Networking

by Richard White on February 27, 2013 · 0 comments

Different snacks for wine on banquet tableI get to visit a lot of networking groups and some are really buzzing and great business is being passed. Others, much larger in size, are not passing as much business. I do not believe it’s the lack of business around but the lack of commitment of people in the group to go the extra mile to help each other.

There is a nice description I read once of Heaven and Hell. It describes Hell as a place where people are seated around a dining table, starving, and yet on the table before them is an array of sumptuous food. The people at the table can smell the beautiful aromas and yet no one is able to eat. They are all starving despite being in the midst of so much food. On closer inspection each person has a long ladle strapped to each arm. They are unable to bend their arms and the ladle is too long to reach their mouth. There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth!

The definition of Heaven is actually identical to Hell in every respect. The same dining table and the same food. The same ladles strapped to each person’s arms. The difference is that people around the table are feeding each other rather than just trying to feed themselves.

I love this as an analogy and it is especially appropriate for networking. It sums up how we can generate all the sales-leads we need by helping other people generate sales-leads. Help is not always direct introductions to clients but indirect introductions to people we know who later go on to make introductions to potential clients. The more you help others the more they tend to help you back. Not everyone does but when you use chemistry as a qualifier for making new contacts then the chances are they will be suitably like-minded.

Keeping to the analogy, it is easy to sit there and think:

“If someone feeds me then I will feed them back”.

Perhaps that is what causes the Hell in the first place. Everyone sitting there waiting for someone else to make the first move. I have learnt that if you want something to happen then it pays to be the one to seize the initiative and make the first move. Be the type of group member you want others to be and things will begin to change.

Richard White
Richard White is a sales coach and trainer. He specialises in helping IT consultants win more sales through effective networking. Richard is the author of ‘The Accidental Salesman Networking Survival Guide’ and is a highly sought after speaker on the subjects of networking and soft selling.

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