I pulled up a chair …
George had suggested that networking just wasn’t his style, he was adverse to ‘breaking the ice’ with those he hadn’t met before and being ‘nice’ just because … and the whole ‘first-date’ scenario left him less than warm …
“Getting out of the comfort zone is just not for me Charlie, I’m comfortable here with comfortable.”
‘I’m not entirely sure face to face networking is relevant. Besides, all the new business is on-line now anyway. I can strike up a conversation with anyone I so desire, I connect and like and in turn get liked by all kinds of people with the same interests I have without even meeting them!’
I asked George if he’d like to grow his customer list, if he was still in the market for more business?
“Charlie, we have a whole bunch of customers and when they’re busy the company is busy so no, I’m not really looking to grow my database. The networking breakfast sounds fantastic though!”
George had a well established company providing an on-line service and had been growing ‘organically’ over the years – all by ‘word of mouth.’
‘So, are you happy where you are with the business George?’ I asked.
“Sure Charlie. It gets a little isolated now and again from where I sit now but in the main I’m content.’
I like George, he’d been around about as long as I had, worked on the business with the right people, understood the referral business enough to know the value of the right connection but now he was ‘comfortable, being comfortable.’
“I can see why you inhabit the network though Charlie,” said George …
“I know you value the input from others, hearing about their business, the advice and mutual support and direction. Not to mention the diversity and mentor opportunity – and yeah, that breakfast does sound good; but hey, does that really drive you to get out of bed at that time of day?”
‘It’s not the breakfast George, I’m just naturally nosey …’
I couldn’t bring myself to remind George of the ‘organic business by referral growth’ his own business had enjoyed and thrived on over the years. Sure, structured networking relies on your input and what you bring to the room. Networking is about desire, the attitude and your understanding of the value people bring to the business.
George, despite his delight at the thought of a fine network breakfast, had simply lost his appetite.
Like George, if you are comfortable with the bottom line then that’s one reason networking may not be for you but for a whole host of reasons regular face to face networking really is still relevant as we understand why ‘people buy from people.’