Drive-By Networking and Other Connection Disconnects

In my weekly call last week with one of my mastermind groups, a colleague shared the results of a very successful meeting he had with a potential prospect. To celebrate his triumph, the group got into a discussion about the factors that led to the positive response he got, and one of the things we uncovered is that he didn’t bring a notebook to the meeting.
Now, for someone who likes to take notes, that idea seemed very foreign to me. But then I realized if I’m busy writing, I’m not listening. Or rather, I’m listening, but I’m not really listening.
In other words, when my eyes are looking down on my note pad, they’re not looking at the person — their facial expressions, the little gestures that hold so much more of the meaning of their words than the actual words themselves. And with my brain working to connect what I hear with what I write, I’m standing apart in my own world trying to meet my own objectives, rather than joining them fully in theirs.


This got me thinking about other barriers we inadvertently put up when we try to make genuine connections and win people over whether in a sales call, networking event or other face-to-face meeting.
Take drive-by networking as an example…
Have you run across folks at networking events who seem more interested in handing out as many business cards as possible than having actual conversations? Is it just me, or is that the equivalent of them putting a flyer under the windshield of every car in the parking lot?

Productive Networking Conversations Part I: Making Initial Contact


Many people underestimate the power of preparation in maximizing their networking efforts. From researching the right event to attend, to preparing for the conversations they hope to have once they’re there, to how to follow up in the most effective way.

They just make it up as they go with meager results to show for it. And then,
ironically, they complain that, “networking doesn’t work.”

Whether you’re networking in person or trying to make connections online, it’s not about just being in the room, or putting up your profile. It’s about the quality of the interactions you have, and even more specifically, the quality of your CONVERSATIONS.