Let’s hit rewind.
When I started in business, networking was very different.
Today, traditional networking is dead.
17 years ago when I started, you’d meet people face to face at networking events. You’d get to know people. Learn something about them. Have conversations. Build and nurture a professional relationship. You’d probably have a Rolodex with hundreds of business cards on your desk (sound familiar?).
And one day, months in the future, if you needed something, chances are you’d have a business card from someone who could help you. Or, if your best friend needed someone… Anyone, you would scroll through your Rolodex and there’d be someone (or 2 or 3 people) you could refer them to.
The digital world changed that.
Now we have social media profiles instead of a Rolodex… And there’s infinitely more space on social media for contacts. We have hundreds or even thousands of contacts online, and when someone needs a graphic designer or web developer, you probably know multiple people from various countries who do just that.
There’s literally no way we can build a relationship with everyone. I love chatting, but if I spoke to everyone I wouldn’t get any work done!
And yet, there are still old-school “hope marketers” out there who try to network the old way. They’re of the mindset that it’s valuable to have calls to “get to know” people in the hope that they’ll recommend them to others.
I send out an email every now and then asking people if they’d like to have a call with me. These people are either already on my email list, which means they’ve expressed interest in me, my services, or products, or I’ve carefully qualified them before reaching out.
Yet they still don’t actually want or need my services. They just want to talk. In the hope that maybe one day I’ll remember them and refer them to someone, or in case they ever need what I offer.
Do people really value their time so little that they’d waste calls knowing there’ll be no outcome?
Networking has completely changed. We can’t do things the same way we used to. Building relationships is great, but it takes time. As such, you need to be incredibly strategic about who you build those relationships with… Or you just end up wasting precious time.
Obviously, the type of business you have makes a difference. But the majority of digitally-focused businesses will never be able to scale if they’re so busy talking to their 1000s of connections without a business-related outcome.
Yes, this topic is controversial. Yes, it may annoy some people. But it’s
Have you experienced these “hope marketers” as well? How many calls do you have that you find to be a complete waste of time, even after you’ve qualified your lead beforehand? Or are you one of them??
Either way, time is valuable. We should be valuing it more than we do! If there’s no chance of doing business together, we shouldn’t be having calls. What do you think? 🙂