Home – New Forums Face-to-face meetups & events My experience with a networking meetup

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #987318
    jabar
    Member
    • Total posts: 31
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi guys,

    I would like to talk about my experience when I attended my first networking meetup which I didnt find that useful. Well, I am new to the entrepreneurial world and never before meet people creating or managing their own businesses, so one day I decided I would go to one of these networking meetups to see whats all about. Although I was starting an online store I didnt bring any business cards or promotional material to the meeting, so I basically went to learn and interact with people.

    The dynamic was that first people would talk and introduce to others randomly, then everyone would present their business to each other during 5 minutes until everyone has met all the people and exchanged business cards. What I found was a little disappointing regarding how people behaved.

    I honestly approached 6 or 7 people with the intention of get to know them and find out what was their business about, but I only found cold people not interested in having a chat but only on promoting their business. During the exercise I talked to all the people there and I really felt no one was interested in me as a person or in my business, but only on talking about their products/services hoping that I would get interested. For example, a girl approach me with a fake smile, asked me what was my business fast enough to take a card out of her pocket, give it to me and leave. To be honest, when I arrived home with around 20 business cards in my hand I just throw all of them to the garbage bin, except for one of a guy that was the only one interested in talking to me as a real person not a potential client.

    The point is, I dont understand how so many people go to these networking meetups with such an attitude of just selling their staff without making a connection with their potential clients. I mean if they wanted me to be interested in their products/services they should have shown interest in me as a real person. How me, a beginner in business person, can know that better than people that have been in business for a while??? Am I wrong then?

    I think the best selling technique you can use when you are networking is to show a real interest in others businesses and not just trying to get your business card to as much people as you can. What are your thoughts on that? cheers

    #1162104
    Sus2k
    Member
    • Total posts: 24
    Up
    0
    ::

    I think you’ve answer the question yourself. I’ve never been to these networking groups however with what you’ve said it seems like these people are desperate. Little do they know, this is where you can distinguish an excellent sales person (who will listen) to a below average (where the entire conversation is about them).

    At least from this experience, you can identify them easily :)

    #1162105
    sam_leader
    Member
    • Total posts: 660
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Jabar,

    Sounds to me as if you’ve got the right attitude but in this instance have been a bit unlucky. Perhaps a smaller gathering where there’s a bit less pressure to ‘spray and pray’ with your card might prove more fruitful for you.

    Have you seen whether there’s a Flying Solo meetup near you?

    Better luck next time :)

    Sam

    #1162106
    Past-Member
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,815
    Up
    0
    ::

    Sorry you had a bad experience – networking is about building business relationships – being interested in the other person and their business so that even if you have no use for their services, you have ‘met’ that person and would feel confident in giving their details to someone else in the future.

    People who just go to exchange cards without finding out about the others are not networking.

    You might find some information and books helpful on Robyn Henderson’s website http://www.networkingtowin.com.au

    #1162107
    Johny
    Member
    • Total posts: 840
    Up
    0
    ::

    People who just go to exchange cards without finding out about the others are not networking.

    Exactly.

    I won’t pretend to be an expert on this stuff, but I do know what networking isn’t, and that is just going to somewhere to hand out business cards.

    I suspect that many of these people go to these events, hand out cards, then pop back to the office to be able to tick their sales/prospects sheet to show they have been proactive in generating sales opportunities.

    Good for the stats, but doesn’t really mean anything or result in anything. Just a numbers game.

    #1162108
    MissSassy
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,255
    Up
    0
    ::

    Just like anything

    Some meet ups are amazing and some will be a waste of your time – keep trying till you find one that works for you.

    #1162109
    LucasArthur
    Participant
    • Total posts: 3,171
    Up
    0
    ::

    Howdy Jabar

    Great post, intuitive and thoughtful… As others have said, it sounds like your personal/business journey is on track and those that met you had a slightly different agenda to yours.. Unfortunately, this can happen at these events from time to time..

    Something i will add, and hope you dont mind, is that you should NEVER rule out any opportunity to meet new people (if time permits and warranted of course) as it only takes one click, one connection or one deep conversation to be aligned with yours and it could be your next major client. I know that sounds a little gooey and i apologise, and certainly not berating your comment as i whole heartedly agree with your sentiment although with an attitude like yours and your willingness to truly engage with someone you will come across others that will gravitate and share with you over time..

    Networking can be a real numbers game and the more you meet the more that is returned.. although same as the 80/20 rule for sales, apply harsher to networking 90/10 maybe.. meaning 90% of meets will be uneventful and 10% could be positive.

    Again, your approach and understanding of the fundamental sales nature of listening to others will put you a step ahead of others at the same events you attend… honestly… if you have the right product/service, you can only come out a winner over time…

    What is hard, is that those that attend PAID events as there is always an agenda and some people try to cram too much relationship building into too little time.. Just imagine an over zealous attendee of a 3 minute dating venue and all they talk about is themselves, marriage, children and past bad relationships.. FAIL!!!! LOL… sort of like some networking events 😮

    Some attendees are there to punch the clock and say “hey boss, went here and here are the cards i got.. could be a lead, maybe not, or they were ok or maybe not.. ” you get the gist..

    Anyways, my post is getting long.. i must sound like one of those people at the networking event you didnt ‘value’, for that soz.. although i would like to add something else… if thats ok??

    Whenever i attend an event, a coffee catch up or something else.. i like to listen to what others have to say, to learn about there business and then if i can see if there is any synergy between what they offer and what i can offer.. actually, on some occasions ( i can be forward sometimes.. dont get me on any of those 3 min date venues) i actually ask the other person if they think there is any possibility we could get to know each other better and develop an ongoing ‘partnership’ in any way.. This sort of gets them thinking instead of rambling about themselves to the point of selling themselves instead of trying to find a referral partner of sorts..

    Anyways, let us know how you go.. and dont give up on networking, being an introvert by nature, i say that knowing what i have gone through to learn about these events… and the rewards are there, over time… the more you put in the more you will receive out of it..

    Cheers
    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1162110
    Stuart B
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,070
    Up
    0
    ::

    I went to one which was hilarious… I found everyone there really interesting to talk to, and I definitely enjoyed learning about what people did.

    Then the organiser basically hijacked the whole things and pitched us all on som whacky idea and I left about 5 minutes later.

    I think there will be good and bad meetups. I actually just started one myself so feel free to come along. Would be good to meet you. I can guarantee there won’ be any sales pitch lol.

    #1162111
    jabar
    Member
    • Total posts: 31
    Up
    0
    ::

    Thanks everyone for your comments I really appreciate them, thanks Jason for the nice long message, these answers cheer me up to keep meeting new people.

    I actually just started one myself so feel free to come along.

    thanks for the offer Octopus Lab, do you do any meetup in Melbourne?

    #1162112
    Stuart B
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,070
    Up
    0
    ::

    Sorry I don’t know why I just assumed you were in QLD like me lol. No not at the moment, but we’re planning on expanding to other states with our business bootcamp courses so I expect it won’t be long until we are in melbourne.

    #1162113
    ShanDesign
    Member
    • Total posts: 67
    Up
    0
    ::

    Keep trying new groups till you find the right ones!

    I have found networking groups very hit and miss. They seem to be either a touch desperate, like you said, where they are looking for a sale and don’t really care, or on the other hand I have gone to some wonderful meet ups I’ve really enjoyed.

    I think it completely depends on the group of people and the attitude of the organiser. Everyone is probably different in what they prefer, but I tend to like more informal events like a lunch where it is more relaxed and you can have a proper chat to people.

    Good luck!
    Shannon

    #1162114
    Tim@Zinger
    Member
    • Total posts: 21
    Up
    0
    ::

    Mate your post could’ve been describing my experience. I wonder if I can guess the networking group you went to.

    I found the group I attended to be a very closed shop but, still, I kept the cards I collected and attempted to arrange some meetings with people outside the group situation, Nope. Nothing ever came out if it. I wonder if they still have their regular meetings actualy and who still goes.

    Today I network a lot as part of my everyday routine. It can be with the person serving me at the coffee shop, the tradie who’s come to fix whatever or simply the person standing next to me in whatever queue I’m standing in. To me, everyone has their story and you never know which way some conversations can end up. If something tangible comes out of it, bonus.

    Good post. Sounds like we’ve all been there.

    #1162115
    PerfectNotes-Kathy
    Member
    • Total posts: 500
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Jabar,

    There is also a big difference between networking with a small business owner, or someone else who has a real vested interest in growing the business, as opposed to talking to someone who has a job which involves ‘networking’. The first type of person will know that they need to treat you as a real human being and get to know your business – the second just needs to hand out business cards on the off chance that one might fall into the right hands.

    So go out there and try again – as others have said, you’ll meet the right people if you keep trying.

    Good luck!

    Kathy

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.