Frank Agin, founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections once told me that “You can’t close for a relationship”. This is sage wisdom and especially applicable to networking. I attend a variety of networking events every week and I constantly see people trying to “work the room” at a mixer or afterhours event, using well-crafted pitches. They then leave with a fist full of business cards and expect something magical to come from the encounter they just had. Not surprisingly, it never does.
Networking is about creating meaningful, trustworthy business relationships and no fancy words or gimmicky sales tactic can make this happen. We develop relationships over time. A sense of “know, like, and trust” must be nurtured and developed between professionals before either one can reasonably expect anything from the other.
Do you expect referrals from your connections and contacts? Do you get them? What are you doing to nurture “know, like, and trust” from your connections and contacts?
If you are really endeavoring to build trusted relationships and exchange quality business referrals with other professionals, you must first have quality relationships with them and a structured setting or process for exchanging them.
You will never go to a networking event and close somebody on a referral relationship with you. That relationship must be earned and built.