Networking: Fear of Networking

How is it that most sales people have no problems cold calling yet many break out in a sweat when they attend networking functions?

For 16 years in the industrial packaging business, I have worked strictly off of a referral basis–never cold calling.  I rely solely upon my networking partners for “warm referrals.”

To be successful at networking, here are a few pointers that will help build confidence:

  1. Create a Plan / a Roadmap–as any good business person will tell you, you must have some sort of plan established so that you know where you are going.
  2. Outline an agenda for each meeting – Decide beforehand 2-3 key things that you want to accomplish at each event.
  3. Craft 3-4 interchangeable commercials – once you have drafted several different commercials, practice, practice, and practice!

To overcome the fear of networking, get prepared, have a plan of attack and then make connections–seize opportunities.

Peggy P. Edge. (c) 2014

Networking- The 30 Sec Commercial

Sometimes when you offer a service, it is difficult to explain or describe exactly what it is that you do.

For example, if you say you are a Business Coach.  What exactly does that mean?  What do you really do!

The Key Step here is to:  

Give an example of how you have helped a client.

One of the main purposes of a good, effective 30-Second Commercial is to be able to relay in layman’s terms:

1.  What it is that you do for a living?

2.  Who is your target market?

3.  Why should someone be interested in what you have to sell–your value proposition?

When you give that commercial, you want those in ear-shot to be able to tell other people what you do and to be able to explain it enough so there could or might be some interest generated that would result in a one-on-one meeting or introduction.

Always keep in mind to speak in layman’s terms and to give examples of how you have solved a problem.

Peggy P. Edge (c), 2014


Peggy’s Pointers of kNOTS

A networking event is kNOT the place to sell.

  • The networking meeting is the place to make connections, make appointments and agreements for future linking.

Do kNOT shove a business card into everybody’s hand.

  • Wait until someone asks you for your card.

Do kNOT automatically put anyone on your newsletter or distribution list without prior permission.

  • Be careful with this because some networking organizations do not allow members to be solicited.  This is a form of solicitation and you could jeopardize your business opportunities with the group.

Do kNOT promote more than 1 business at an event.

  • This is one of the biggest mistakes I see women doing.  Their commercial will include they are General Manager of Dither Drilling company and I also sell XYZ.
  • If you have more than one business…always, always, always…network them at different venues.

Do kNOT sit with anyone that you know.

  • I call this the Bertha effect.  My grandmother always sat on the right side of the pew on the 4th row of her church.  Everyone knew that was Bertha’s place.
  • Not only should you sit with someone you do not know but if you are attending a regularly scheduled event, sit in a different place in the room each week.

Do kNOT assume anything about a group or person.

  • Just because a networking function has only small business owners and you need to connect with Enterprise type corporations, don’t assume that there is not anyone in the group who you would be a good resource for you.

Excerpt from: “Key Steps to Effective Business Networking” – Peggy P. Edge (c) 2012