There's a knock at your door.
"Huh," you mutter. "I wonder who that is?"
You open the door.
"Hi, I'm John. I met you at a networking event last week. I gave you my business card, but you know what? I figured you'd want to know more about me and my business. So, I decided to stop by and tell you more.
Do you have a cold drink?"
Don't worry, I'm not going to show up on your door step. I don't have to.
I can decide you really need to receive my unsolicited email correspondence. It may be my newsletter, or blog.There could be a landing page in your future with a really special offer.
You never asked for any of it.
What we have in common is that we exchanged business cards at a networking event. When I returned to my office I decided you needed my uninvited, unsolicited correspondence.
There are some unwritten rules involved in networking. I'm going to be charitable and presume that some folks aren't aware of those rules.
How do I know?
I'm receiving newsletters and other "special offers" I never asked for. I recognize the sender from their business card. They presume, because we made the exchange I'm interested in their information.
The correspondence is unsolicited. I did not ask for it and even though it lands in my inbox it is still "spam" If you engage in that practice you are spamming. That's not cool.
"But John, how do I get the word out there about me and my company?"
I'm glad you asked.
A few weeks ago I received an email from a new contact. In the email, they told me what networking event we'd met at, their email address, their company web page, links to the social media pages they'd created and an opt in link for a newsletter. They asked me to "take a look," and if I felt moved to do so "like" their social media pages.
They opened a door and gave me an option as to whether or not I'd walk through.
I appreciated their courtesy. It was a few days before I got around to looking at their stuff and decided I wanted to receive their newsletter.
They left me a choice and most importantly it told me a bit about them and how they did business.
Arrange a one-on-one.
“You meet someone at an event, and you have a great conversation. You hand her your card. You go home and just know that she will call. She doesn’t call. You decide networking sucks.”
Those are the words of Monica Shah in a blog she wrote over 3 years ago.
Most peoples lives are as busy and hectic as ours. When I meet someone I'd like to know better I arrange a one-on-one before we leave the event, mark it in my calender's and follow up with a text or email the day before the meeting.
When we meet we share more about our businesses. I'll tell them I publish a newsletter and a two blogs. I'll share my web link. If they opt in or not is up to them.
As the great philosopher once said "Easy, peasey, lemon squeezy."
Remember why you are networking to begin with.
Networking can be valuable if you understand it's two basic principles.
- The purpose of networking is too create relationships.
- The purpose of networking is to share something that is valuable to the people you engage.
Funny you should ask.
I'll cover that in my next posting Elevator Speeches Are Easy, Once You Find Your "Why"
See you soon.