When did you last go to a networking event looking to buy a product or service?….. No me either, and neither does anybody else. Ivan Misner calls this the Networking Disconnect.
So you aren’t buying at networking events, and neither is anyone else, why do so many people go along to events with the goal to sell something to those they meet? There is no hungry crowd to feed.
The same is true of Social media.
Why are you on Twitter and Facebook? Do you have something you want to buy? – If you are honest, probably not. Sure you might follow Dell or some account that offers regular discounts, but of all the people you follow or friend what percentage are these? (and have you bought anything?)
If no one is there to buy, why bother?
Networking, whether online or offline, offers something more than a one off sale… It is the opportunity to build credibility in your industry, to create an audience and rally a tribe.
By providing as much value as you can you will gather others around you who want to spread your message and recommend you to others. The wider you spread your net, the more customers you are likely to catch.
Here’s an everyday example…
I don’t go to a barbecue and start selling to my mates over a beer, but what I do is build great relationships and I listen to them and find out about them and their business. And I tell them what I do and how I help people.
When I need some wine for a party, some electrical wiring done, or my car painted, I’ve got friends that I’ll go to without even thinking about any of their competition. I go to them because I know them, I like them,and I trust them. I also know when they need a product or service I offer, or even some advice, they will come to me.
I am NOT saying you shouldn’t be selling on Social Media OR that no one is buying – Just that no one is there with the intention to buy so you should be connecting and selling yourself first.