Last night I was at another business networking event where everyone was trying to sell me and only talk about their business. It felt like I was getting "pitched to death," and a few times all I could think was, "I'd never do business with you..."

So here's the question:

"Are these events - or 'pitch fests' - really worthwhile?"

Why did I go? Because one of the single best ways for a small business to market and grow is to network. BUT... I also know something that most of these people don’t know.

And I want to share it with you. Because to be successful with networking for your small business, you should know this too.

In fact, It's as good as gold.

You see...

Most of these people ARE NOT going to benefit from attending.

Well, that is until they meet you. Because you are not doing what they are. You are not behaving that way. You aren’t saying the same things that they are, and you aren’t going about meeting people the same way that they do.

Instead, you are doing what's effective, enjoyable, easy and will get you results.

So naturally...

"The best way to be effective and stand out while networking is to do the OPPOSITE of what everyone else is doing."

Here's what's typical:

Everyone you meet introduces themselves and gives a boring 3-minute or longer "elevator pitch." They don't really take an interest in or listen to others. Common sense tells you that they are not going to get much out of their time, money and energy investment. But you can. It's all about opposites...

Here are the three action steps for a winning networking conversation, in order of importance. When you read this, it might go against what "logic" would dictate. But... Most people are trying to be logical, and just spinning their wheels.

This strategy has been field-tested by myself and my clients - and guess what?


1.) Learn about the other person.
Find out their interests, dreams, desires, business and personal goals, likes and dislikes.

2.) Be of service to them.
After you've learned about them and their wants, find a way to help them get closer to those wants, in business or in life - it doesn't matter which.

Offer them your assistance and ask if you can follow up to deliver it. Whether that's over the phone, in person or over email, make sure to get their permission so they know what to expect and you start to build trust right away.

3.) Let them know what you do and who you help.
Maybe they can help you right away, and maybe not. And maybe you can help them right away with your business, and maybe not. But it doesn't matter. Building a strong foundation for a relationship is the key goal of effective networking and so much more important than getting in a sales pitch.

So why do this? What are the benefits of this technique?

First of all, this corrects one of the biggest networking mistakes:

95% of people that attend a networking event NEVER FOLLOW UP!

You never know where your next lead or referral will come from.

Why invest all that time, money and energy to go home, throw the business cards you've collected into a shoebox, and wait for something to miraculously happen?

Guess what? It probably won't.

But... if you've offered assistance in some form or another that is not directly a sales pitch, then you have a genuine reason to follow up and schedule a next meeting. And the person has a reason to accept your invitation and look forward to the appointment. They know what's in it for them, and they are likely to appreciate the help you are providing.

Secondly, after you are in the process of helping them get closer to something they really want, they are even MORE RECEPTIVE to hear about and take an interest in what you do. Now this is the perfect time to get that information across to them, especially if it didn't happen during your initial meeting.

They will feel a sense of reciprocity, not to mention that you are building on the three main sales factors - Know, Like and Trust - as they become more familiar with you in a supportive, friendly process.

So go ahead and try this formula out at your next networking event, family gathering or social outing.

You will LOVE using this "Midas Magical Touch" to turn your networking results to gold!

To your success!

Author's Bio: 

Jason Rosado provides business coaching to small business owners and sales professionals to help them get more clients, enjoy more personal time, and make a great living while fulfilling their mission to serve others. Jason is a prolific networker and sought after speaker in the subjects of small business networking, marketing and sales. He is the owner of Distinctive Coaching and has worked in the business development, coaching and training field for over 20 years.

To take advantage of free business-building resources or to connect to “BizCoachJason” on Facebook, Twitter and Meetup, please visit his website at Jason can also be reached at 773.829.1276 or