First, I think we need to understand why many members don’t take advantage of any of the events offered for business development. I have talked to some members who are deathly afraid of going to events because they know they are going to be around a lot of people they don’t know. Business development doesn’t come easy for everyone.
It is one of the reasons you see people at other organizations getting into little circles or cliques; people feel safe around people they know. Reconnecting and spending some time with clients and friends are important, however, don’t use safety as an excuse not to expand your business development.
It is also the reason, a person you start talking to, won’t let you go. They have someone to talk to, don’t have to face anyone else, can say they were “networking,” leave, and say networking doesn’t work for them. Learn some ways of severing a conversation when you find someone who wants to monopolize your time. The best one I have ever come up with is to say, when they take a breath, “Who in this room do you know you can introduce me to?”
Here are some ways to soften your hesitation on attending events:
- Find someone you know when you get to an event. Which is easy at a SNG gathering because someone from your group will be there, or locate the host. Let them know you would like an introduction to someone to get you started. When you finish exchanging ideas of how you can benefit each other with the person you are introduced to, ask that person for a soft hand off, in the way of an introduction, to someone else in the room.
- Contact members to pre-arrange to meet them at the event. Think about it, isn’t this an incredible way of introducing yourself to the members? If you contact a member to see if they will be attending an event, what is the worst thing that can happen? If they tell you they won’t be attending, you have them on the phone, so ask for a one-on-one!
On the SNG Website, we have made it easy for the members to find and contact the members in the categories that work best for them. If you click on the “Company Description,” it puts all the company descriptions in alphabetical order:
www.4SNG.com > Directory > All > GRID/LIST box, click on LIST > Click on “Company Description”:
The only thing we request is that you ONLY contact members who you can ALSO give business to. A one-sided relationship is not the way we operate in the SNG family!
- Bring a Wingman or Winggal. Doesn’t it make anyone more secure when they know someone has their back? Think about when you were single, you didn’t go out alone to fine Mr. or Mrs. Right, did you? The same with working a room or cold calling, isn’t it more fun when you do it with someone else? Doesn’t it take the sting out of rejection when you can lean on a friend? I firmly believe, the fear of rejection is the only fear that keeps people away from business development opportunities!
- Greet them at the door with a tag! What better way to meet people than to ask them if they need a “Guest” nametag, or a “Member” nametag? We are always looking for volunteers to greet the members when they arrive. It does a couple important things for us; first, it frees the host to mingle and help the other guests at the event, and, second, as big and fast as we are growing, it saves us all from trying to figure out what the person’s name is. This is huge since all of us have felt panic set in when we should know someone’s name but can’t remember…lol!
- It is easy to be the most popular person at a business development event, here is how. If the tagging position above is filled, offer to help greet the people as they arrive. Next, walk them over to the right person for a guest or member tag. Then take them to a member in the room to help them to get started networking. The bigger we grow, the more help we need in making sure the crowd is moving around and not settling in circles, or participants, who are there for business development, are not being stifled by someone who is monopolizing their time, fearful of moving on.
Bottom line, when did you achieve greatness without facing your fears? Remember, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. What is the worst thing that can happen, but, probably won’t, so stop imagining failure? Start thinking about how many people you can draw into your life to help create a better future for their families, while helping yours.
Yes, it is like throwing a pebble into still water, the tiny ripples expand; help just one person, get one connection, and it could be a life changing event for them. The more people you help, the more people will end up helping you to get what you want during your lifetime. I have seen so many fortunes made by SNG members because they extended themselves at our events starting all the way back to our beginning in 2002.
Hopefully, the above will give you something to think about in the future when you ask yourself, “Should I attend the event, or take the easy route home to the safety of my dwelling?” Please send me all the excuses for not attending events, just so I can see if anyone can be more creative than all the ones I have heard in the past. Don’t talk yourself out of the opportunity to help others, or your opportunity to find gold for your life and family. I have never left a networking event without one good lead; don’t leave money and opportunity on the floor by heading home.
Copyright Wayne A. Curto 2020