Have you ever been at a networking event and been cornered by one of “those” types of networkers or salespeople? Mike Sigers (whose birthday happens to be today – happy b-day, Mike!) calls them Herb Tarlek types – what I feel to be a very accurate portrayal.
Herb charges up to you, asks you what you do, barely gives you a chance to answer, then shoves a business card at you and begins his elevator speech (as in boring like elevator music, not short like an elevator ride). You’re no idiot. You can tell he’s not really listening to anything you say.
These are the speed daters of the networking scene – going for quantity in hopes of eventually getting a hit. They’re why so many people hate networking.
Compare them to the other type – the more rare. These are the Queen Alexandra’s Birdwings of the networking world.
You may be sitting and talking to Alex for a while before you realize the time has passed. The entire conversion seemed to be about you and you found her insights fascinating. Before you get up to go, she asks for your business card – which reminds you to get hers. You may not have a need for her services, but you know of at least 2 people who do. And you plan to tell them about her company.
Real networking is about relationships – and in fact, that’s all sales is, too. As a home-based entrepreneur, your success will be directly related to the relationships you build. If you’re doing it right, you love what you have to offer, and know it provides value. So talking about it is not a problem. But to help someone, you have to know what help they need, and the only way to find that out is by asking and listening.
Making sales by talking less. Think about it – it really does make sense…