So, you’re dressed to impress, business cards in your pocket and you walk confidently into the venue. There’s people standing around chatting, no-one is looking lost or awkward, what on earth do you do now??
That’s when the vulture with the shiny suit comes bounding towards you with an outstretched hand….”the names John, and you are??” you’re cringing inwardly knowing that the salesman who is failing to hit his targets has immediately spotted fresh meat as you walked in the door.
You try to look interested in his inane conversation about his home life, kids and dog whilst you’re scanning the room to see who is going to rescue you.
There’s literally no-one, the room is full of people chatting away and avoiding your gaze knowing that whilst you’re entertaining this half-wit they are free to talk to others who might actually be a business prospect!
The host walks over, silently apologising with her eyes and rescues you. She takes your business card and your £20 and abandons you to an abyss of chatter whilst others greet each other with aplomb and you want the ground to swallow you whole.
An hour later you’ve got a pile of business cards so big you can’t squeeze them into your newly purchased Filofax and you don’t have a clue who any of them belong to, you’re exhausted from wearing a fake smile and you’re wishing you’d just stayed in bed this morning!
Is that what you expect at networking events?? No wonder you don’t go!!
Thankfully we work hard to ensure that all our delegates, new and seasoned are welcomed (often with a hug, our clients are our friends!) and visitors are introduced to people around the room during the informal part of our meets.
We take our seats around the room, listen to a guest speaker and then invite everyone to introduce themselves in their turns.
Now if you’re not used to talking in front of other people then this is the bit that scares off the majority.
The dreaded “elevator pitch”
It’s two minutes of self-promotion, making yourself sound like an expert in your field. It needs to be exciting, impactful and lead to lots of new business.
OH NO IT ISN’T!!
At PP we’re relaxed, friendly, helpful and supportive. All we want to know is who you are and what you do. Ideally if you can tell us enough to fill two minutes then awesome BUT if you can’t we’ll all step up and help. You’ll find that other attendees and most definitely the group leader will step in and ask you a couple of pertinent questions to pull out of you what we need to know and to set you back on the right track.
It’s not about polished scripts with quirky rhyming marketing messages, it’s not about PERFECTION. It’s about you and despite the fact that you’ve just engaged with a group called “Perfect People” I have to be the first to admit I’m not perfect! Far from it!!
When it comes to business I’ve found that people buy from people. They don’t do business because of polished scripts or thick embossed business cards, they give business to each other and refer business because they genuinely like each other.
What we have developed is an opportunity for people to get to know, like and trust each other. Our networking blueprint has been formulated and amended over the years to ensure that sustainable relationships are developed because of personality. People genuinely wanting to help each other to succeed because they like each other!
What a bizarre concept in this hate-filled, war-ravaged, crime-filled world. Little by little we’re helping people to develop relationships, friendships and collaborations all based on the fact that actually they like each other!
So ditch the script, be yourself and see what being a part of Yorkshire’s premier business community can do for you and your business!