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How to burn bridges on networking calls

I met “Donny” at an online networking event.

He identified himself as a leadership coach and following the event reached out to book a networking call with me.

The purpose of a networking call is to find opportunities for cross-referrals, collaborations, and to see if there is the potential to build a relationship. 

It’s not a sales call unless the person identifies themselves as someone who could use your help and expresses an interest in your services.

Five minutes into our Zoom session, it was clear Donny didn’t get the memo.

Although our conversation started with him asking what I do and where I hoped to take my business, it quickly veered into shady sales territory.

You know you are in shady sales territory when the person speaking:

  1. Talks more than they listen
  2. Assumes you have a problem without asking you what you’re struggling with, what you’ve tried, or how bothered you are by it
  3. Starts insinuating you won’t succeed unless you follow their exact methodology
  4. Launches into example after example of people they’ve made successful.

In short, the call becomes about them and their pitch rather than about you.

Blech! Ugh! Vomit!

Within five minutes, Donny did all four of the above.

I felt like I had been deceived about the purpose of our interaction, so I called him on it:

“Donny, I feel like you are trying to create a problem I don’t have so you can sell me a solution I don’t need. I was hoping we could just get to know each other on a friendly level.”

Donny’s face dropped and he excused himself from the call shortly after.

Beyond deceiving me about the purpose of the call, Donny made two other crucial mistakes.

One, he assumed because I was an entrepreneur and he helps entrepreneurs that I needed his services.

Two, he assumed I had a problem that I don’t.

Don’t be a Donny.

Your target market isn’t just a demographic. It’s a specific group of people with a specific problem that your business solves.

Your job is to qualify the people you speak with to see if they could benefit from your services and to trust that if they don’t, there are people out there who do.

This is what networking is all about: 

Expanding the number of people who know what you do and helping others expand their network at the same time.

Of course, if you aren’t clear on your market, the problem you solve for them, the way that you solve it, or how to find and enroll clients in a way that doesn’t feel manipulative or sleazy, networking won’t help. 

Instead, you need to focus on building the foundations of your business: identifying your ideal client, creating a signature offer, and creating a marketing strategy that focuses on your clients. 

This is where a VIP Day with me can help. It’s a customized full day of one-on-one co-creation where we get the above done so you can get on with your business and start making the income and impact you are here for.

If you think this might be of value to you, book a discovery call to learn more. 

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