A few years ago, Margie, a lady who ran a house cleaning business, attended the Friday Networking Lunch for the first time. She came in expecting to sell her service to someone she’d meet at the lunch. She left disappointed. I phoned her the following week to see if she’d be joining us again. I’ll never forget her reply. With a tone of frustration, she said, “Well, I didn’t get any business.”.
Margie didn’t arrive early. She didn’t stay late. She didn’t speak with anyone. She only attended one time. And, she expected to make a sale?
Most of the time, networking doesn’t work that way. Dr Ivan Misner, the founder of BNI, said, “Networking is more about farming than it is about hunting. It’s about cultivating relationships.”.
Margie came to the FNL with something other than a “Farming” mindset. But, she wasn’t “Hunting” either. Margie showed up and when it was her turn to stand up and tell everyone who she was and a little about her business, she said, “Hi, I’m Margie and I have a small cleaning business. I clean houses and charge just $15 per room. Call me if you need anything.”. When lunch concluded, Margie left.
Ok, so maybe Margie was nervous? That’s understandable. It was her first time. We’ve all been there.
If we’re going to go with Dr Misner’s farming analogy, then what Margie did was go out into the field, take a brief look around, and then run back to the pavement before her boots got dirty. That’s fine. So long as Margie returns to the field next week to plant some seeds. Then returns again to water them and eventually to harvest her crop.
The people you meet at the Friday Networking Lunch can be a source of numerous referrals. But, don’t be like Margie and expect anyone in our group to flood you with business after just one encounter. Join us this Friday and the next and again after that. The more you attend, the more exposure you get, the better job you do cultivating relationships, the more referrals you give, the more likely you are to receive referrals from our members.