Being Bruce -: Networking Event Tip #21 - Avoid Your Friends!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Networking Event Tip #21 - Avoid Your Friends!

This tip might sound a bit odd, or contradictory to earlier tips in which we told you to go with someone else to business networking events, but the real deal here is that the primary purpose of networking events is NOT to hang out with your friends, but to make new contacts and build on existing relationships. That doesn't mean you won't perhaps become friends with people you meet at networking events, in fact the odds are in your favor that you will, but the wrong way to use your time at these events is to spend it with people who are already good friends.

If you spend your time in a corner with close friends, that may be fun, and safe, and all that, and yeah you'll be seen at the event, but it likely won't do anywhere as much good for your business as getting outside your social circle and meeting other people. In fact, if you seem to want to stick only to your friends, it can work against you.

So don't really ignore your friend at networking events. Say hi, maybe spend a few minutes, but then move on to see who else you can meet.

A twist on this that can work very much in your favor is to ask who ever your very best friends are in the room this question, "Who do you know here who would be the very best for me to meet for my business, and will you introduce me?" Then when they introduce you as their best friend or at least a really good friend, if they have good relationship with the other person, you'll get some of their borrowed trust, which is a great benefit.

It's great to have lots of friends, but they very likely won't be your only customers or clients, so spend most of your time with other people at networking events.

This post is one in a series on how to make the most of in-person networking events. If you're going to go (and I suggest you do if your business benefits from relationships), you might as have the most fun possible and give and receive the greatest benefits from the occasion.

If you know want to know about upcoming business networking events in the greater Wilmington Area [which means to me anywhere from Topsail Island, NC to North Myrtle Beach, SC], check out David Merrill's Networking Event Calendar . And if you know of or are planning a networking event you'd like included in the calendar, e-mail David at