I just got back from my first networking meeting and it was a pretty lackluster performance on my part. I got so excited to share what I was doing that I forgot that everyone else had objectives too.
I only handed out 3 business cards but I don't think much will come from them. On my way home I kept thinking about what I could have done to have a warmer reception to what I was offering, then I remembered the things I learned after a breakup...
After my first big breakup, I realized that had no idea how to talk to women. I read books and articles about how to interact with strangers and avoid being creepy at the same time. I forgot the most important lesson that I learned.
The most important thing to do when meeting someone you might want to have a relationship with is to be genuinely interested in who they are and what they're about. I realized that I was just on a date with about 50 people and I forgot to be interested in actually knowing them on a personal level.
When I'm meeting a potential business partner, I need to remember to be genuinely interested in what they are about. Their business is very important to them and they want others to know what they do and what they have to offer.
At some point during the interaction they will ask about me and I'll be able to offer up that information. If they don't ask about me, then they're not actually interested and I can move on to someone else who might be.
Just like dating.
I know that not everyone is going to be interested in the advertising or graphic work that I offer, and that's ok. I just have to make sure that I do my absolute best for the people who are interested in my work and let their success speak for me.
Here's to more networking (dating).