I was at a real-world social networking do last night and saw a perfect example of what not to do.
I also saw a perfect example of how it should be done.
The interesting thing is that, quite by chance, both these examples came from people in the same industry – they were both head hunters.
So what did they do?
Firstly, here’s how it should not be done:
I was standing talking to someone when we noticed another appear at our side.
As we turned to include her in the conversation she turned to the person I was talking to and asked for his business card, offering hers at the same time.
Nothing wrong with that, except that it would have been nice if she’d offered to shake hands and introduce herself.
She didn’t understand what business he was in from his card, so she asked. Nothing wrong with that either.
My conversation partner explained very briefly that his company offered Market Research services, and she immediately launched into a laundry list of what she could do for him. It was like turning on a tap.
Then she turned to me and went through the same business card routine.
My card explains what I do, so she didn’t bother to ask me anything. She just turned on the tap.
As it happens, I have no need for any of the services she offered – as she would have found out if she’d taken the slightest bit of interest in what I actually did.
When she’d finished, she told me that her number was on her card, invited me to call her and left in search of some other victims. And that was all we ever saw of her.
I will not be calling her.
And here’s how it should be done:
Earlier in the evening I was standing on my own when someone came up, took a look at my name tag and greeted me by name, shaking my hand as he did so. He also clearly gave his name.
I asked what he did and he replied that he was a head hunter and immediately turned the conversation back to me. What do you do, he asked.
I offered my card (which explains what I do) and he immediately started asking questions. Who were my target customers, what kind of sites do I build, how was my business doing, and so on.
Long story short, we had a very pleasant conversation during which we both found out a bit about each other, our businesses and the challenges we’re both facing.
Now, I don’t need head hunting services but, if I do at some point in the future, it will be the second person I go to. Not the first.
So what’s the lesson for people who are getting into Social Network Marketing on-line?
Read again what the second person did and apply that approach to your on-line Social Networking.
Basically the first person was spamming. It was all unsolicited commercial information.
The second person, on the other hand, took the trouble to find out a bit about me and my business, and took the trouble to establish a relationship.
That’s the person I’ll do business with in the future.