Apr 26, 2024 | Sales & Networking | 0 comments

People you meet Networking.

Sales & Networking | 0 comments

Deb Ammerman - Small Business Showcase Magazine

Kathy Hoover

People you meet Networking.


Dr. Ivan Meisner, Chief Visionary Officer and Founder of BNI once asked these questions….

“By a show of hands, how many of you came to sell something to someone today?”

Nearly all the hands in the room went up. “Now, how many of you by show of hands came to buy something today?” asked Dr. Meisner. Very few if any hands were raised at the time.

The same holds true today. Yet when we approach a Networking event we go ready to “sell” something. Our products, our services ourselves. We have all encountered these four types of People in our Networking adventures. If you haven’t, then you haven’t been to enough events yet.

  1. The person who “thrusts” their business card into your hand before or during the handshake. They blurt out what they do, shake your hand and they are off to the next person in the room.
  2. Then there is the person who believes close proximity will endear them to you. As a general rule in the United States an arms length and a hand shake is the proper distance.
  3. The next person introduces themselves and begins to “sell you” on what they have to offer. Never once asking about you or why you are there. These individuals tend to keep you occupied long after the politeness factor wears thin for you.
  4. The last one is the person who is a bit over zealous to have you as their client. They email, text, call excessively after the encounter.

You will notice in each of these cases they forgot the primary lesson. That is to tune into a station with the call letters WIIFM-What is in it for me? When you put the other person first, when you get to know them and their products first, then you will have a chance to let them know about you.

Each of these people were trying to “SELL” instead of “BUY” into you. I can’t stress enough the need to create the relationship, build the trust and then share about you, your products and services and ultimately make the sale. Networking is only the beginning of the journey not the whole transaction in one encounter.

I recently attended a Networking event in which the sole purpose was to meet as many people as you could and collect their business cards.

It was an interesting mix of Person #1, and as the number of attendees increased we all had to become person #2 in order to hear one another which eliminated eye contact and reading facial expressions. Out of 40+ people, I only encountered one or two #3 people who were there to show off how important they were. Once they shared that, they didn’t know to ask the simply question, “And what about you?”

Since the event was recent, I have yet to encounter person #4, however I am ok if they don’t show up. Contrast that with a networking event of an industry group I am a member of, where the focus was to share our most interesting or challenging stories with one another, without a true purpose to provide business. I liken it to the cliques that I use to encounter in High School. You were either part of the “in” crowd or you were not. I share these 2 styles of Networking events, because you need to begin to discern the purpose for your investment of time, the type of people you wish to meet, and the outcome you wish to produce for the time invested.

We often are taking a “target-practice” or hunting approach to networking vs the “farming” approach, preparing the soil, planting the seed, watering, weeding and caring for the seeds we planted.

Time is money, and both approaches require work beyond the event. So determine what type of work will yield you the best harvest. Be sure to avoid becoming or encountering those four types of people at your events, and you will be well on your way to making great use of your time.

Kathy Hoover
Independent Sales Director with Mary Kay, Inc. Director Consultant Northern Indiana Region of BNI
Kathy’s Connection Hub: https://linktr.ee/kathyhoover Email: Kathy@kathyhoover.com

Kathy has traveled the world to begin businesses for others. She is an experienced Sales Director with over 35 years of experience in Finance, Marketing, Business Management, Inventory Management and is a CEO of her Mary Kay Organization. She leads teams of women and men in both her Consultant Roles and coaches them to success. She is highly skilled in Interpersonal/ Public Communications, Teaching, Sales, Retail, Business Coaching, Skin Care, and Color Applications. She is also a sought after arts and design professional with numerous professional certifications and awards. Kathy enjoys giving back to the community. She has been instrumental in building an Adult Day Care program from the ground up that is still in operation today, serving as a volunteer, Board President and Fundraiser. She has worked with the Optimist Organization as well as mission trips.

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