074: 3 Things You Should NEVER Do at a Networking Event

Mar 08, 2024

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074: 3 Things You Should NEVER Do at a Networking Event

Mar 08, 2024

Getting new clients is front of mind for my firm in 2024.

I bet it's front of mind for your firm, too.

One of my favorite ways to do that is by attending networking events. Why do I ❀️ networking events so much?

βœ… Low time investment
βœ… Low financial investment
βœ… Little to no preparation is required
βœ… Not nearly as overwhelming as speaking on stage

Overall, it's a great way to tee up a few leads, and it only takes a little bit of time and money.

I've easily attended well over 100 networking events in my lifetime. And through that experience, I've connected with dozens and dozens of leads and made untold revenue from those leads. As an added bonus, I've also made a few terrific friends.

Along the way, I've also learned a thing or two about how to do networking events right - and wrong.

Today, I will share three things you should NEVER do at a networking event. My hope is that you can apply some of the lessons I learned to your networking experience and land more leads.

Let's dive in.

Never Number 1: 

Never try to act interesting. Instead, focus on being interested.

We can put a lot of pressure on ourselves at networking events.

🀷‍♂️ How should I act?
🀷‍♂️ Should I wear my dressier jorts?
🀷‍♂️ What should I say so that I at least seem interesting?

One of the biggest paralyzers of networking events is trying to figure out what in the world we'll say to other people. We have this internal fear that if we don't have the perfect script, full of fun facts and interesting tidbits about ourselves, those we talk to will quickly nope out of our convo.

And maybe they will.

But what if we flipped the script?

Instead of stressing over how we can sound more interesting, what if we focused on how to seem more interested?

In other words, spend less time thinking about what you'll say about yourself and spend a little more time thinking about what questions you can ask other people!

Let THEM be the focus of conversation instead of you.

Way less stressful.

Plus, people LOVE talking about themselves.

Here are a couple of ideas to get your inquisitive juices flowing:

1️⃣ What big goal are you working towards this year?
2️⃣ What's the #1 thing in your business or personal life that's working really well right now?
3️⃣ What's something you've learned or discovered recently that you weren't expecting?

Never Number 2:

Never give out your business card.

I can't tell you how many times I've left a networking event feeling SUPER accomplished:

βœ… I met 10, 15, maybe 20 people.
βœ… I handed out a few dozen of my next-level, baller business cards custom-made at Moo.com.
βœ… I was interested and engaging.
βœ… Networking had occurred!

I'd get to work the next day and anxiously await my 20 new leads to hit me up so we could book a sales call.

And I'd wait longer.

And longer.

Sigh. If only I had a way to hit THEM up.

That's when I realized I was playing by the wrong set of rules.

Instead of handing out my contact info, why didn't I focus on getting THEIR contact info?!?

I decided to play by a new set of rules: I made it my job to collect contact information rather than handing it out.

In fact, I stopped carrying business cards altogether. When someone would ask me for my card, I started saying "Gosh, I don't have any cards on me. What's your number? I'll shoot you a text right now so you've got my info. I'll hit you up tomorrow, and we can schedule a time to talk a bit more."

Now I not only have their cell number, but I also have their permission to text them. And people are WAY more likely to respond to texts than emails.

The game was changed.

Never Number 3:

Never hang out for more than an hour after the adult beverages start flowing.

I learned a while back that business things begin going downhill pretty fast about an hour or so after the drinks start flowing.

Yes, people have their guard down more.
Yes, conversations flow a little easier.
Yes, it's less awkward.
No, you won't get quality leads when everyone is buzzed.

For me, the bar side of things doesn't represent me or my company well. Plus, I'd much rather head home, spend time with my family, and get a good night's sleep.

As hard as it is, resist the temptation to get into a game of White Claws mixed with Biz Dev.

In summary:

➑️ Never try to act interesting. Instead, act interested.
➑️ Never give out your business card.
➑️ Never hang out too long once the booze starts flowing.

I hope this helps you get more quality leads and make more meaningful relationships at networking events.

Now go find 3 in your area and put time on your calendar to attend!

And if you want to practice your networking skills with other Fractional CFOs, I'd like to invite you to join me and my team, plus 300 other Fractional CFOs at The CFO Accelerator Live

We are gathering together in Dallas, TX, from May 15-17, 2024. At the conference, you'll get a chance to network and connect with likeminded Fractional CFOs, as well as learn and implement on topics like:

βœ… Getting more leads
βœ… How to raise your prices
βœ… Close more sales for your firm

Your Coach,

Whenever you are ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:

  1. Join us at The CFO Accelerator Live in Dallas, TX from May 15-17. 2024 andΒ learn how to get more clients, increase your pricing, and close more sales! Get your ticket here.
  2. The Inner Circle - every month my team and I go live and share the most impactful lessons we've learned in our journey to start, scale, and optimize our own CFO firm (including live Q&A). Plus you'll get access to our private community of overΒ 200 Fractional CFOs.
  3. If you'd like more amazing (and free!) content about starting, scaling, or optimizing your Fractional CFO firm check out The CFO Report.

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