In my opinion, when it comes to winning business, ‘chamber of commerce style’ networking events offer extremely poor value. Small businesses lose a fortune each year attending these networking events – when they could be getting far better results, for a fraction of the time and money they wasted on networking!
Business owners and salespeople regularly tell me that they get little (if anything) tangible from these dead-end events; often believing they are at fault because they are doing something wrong. Many then waste even more time learning ‘how to work the room’ – then finally realise, after being screwed out of their money, that it’s the actual networking events that are the problem – NOT them!
I have run a successful marketing business for over 14 years and have clients all over the world. In my experience, I can think of no business gathering where you are LESS likely to make a sale or win some business than a typical ‘chamber of commerce style’ networking event.
- Firstly, very few people attend networking events to buy! Just like you, EVERYONE in that room is there to SELL.
- Secondly, because networking events are regarded as a sales and marketing activity, companies send their SALESPEOPLE along and not their BUYERS! This is why all those dreadful “how to work a room” books and seminars are sold exclusively to salespeople and delivered by sales trainers.
In other words, you will be speaking to salespeople and not buyers at these events; people with not only no interest in buying from you BUT with no authority to buy from you either!
If you enjoy meeting people and want to find new potential suppliers, a traditional networking event’s worth considering. However, as a marketing activity I genuinely believe there are man, many better alternatives.