Home > Ideas > Single, better than mingle!

Single, better than mingle!

Ok, before you send the brain on a crazy trip thinking this is some sort of rant on relationships let me put your mind at rest by affirming that you are still at a business blog and this article is most definitely about work, not play!

Earlier this evening a friend and I attended a Management Association meeting. The agenda for the day was a talk on “Investor Friendly Kerala” by a senior Civil Servant.

It was a good talk too – but the highlight for me was what happened earlier. We reached the venue a good thirty minutes before the commencement of the meeting with the intention of catching up with a few members. Being independent practitioners or freelancers we wished to get noticed by the local business fraternity as Consultants- so being seen at the right places and meeting the right people were integral components of our game-plan.

While I went around the room meeting other members he engaged one member in a lengthy conversation – unlike me he was not going around the room meeting a lot of people. I thought it was because he was new in town and did not know many people here. I had been a member of this Association for a number of years and knew many more people.

As we drove back home I made it a point to speak with him about my observation. I asked whether he knew that person well and he told me this:

“I am meeting him for the first time. We had a lot to discuss because we both are in the same line of business. But I spent more time with him to get to know the person well and to build some degree of familiarity; that will help to take the relationship forward to the next level when we interact again. Our discussions may not result in anything at all, but I felt that when we spend more time together we are able to share more details and thereby reach a certain level of comfort. The other person would feel that we are genuinely interested in them and be willing to share more information – he would also be willing to hear more about us.”

“If I spend a little time with a lot of people I will remember none of them and they won’t remember me either. You probably have done this relationship building earlier and so you can afford to spend a little time with a lot of people. I have found that by showing interest in a person’s work we can get them interested in us. They are more willing to help and cooperate.”

“I also make it a point not to seek business at the first meeting. It is just an ice-breaking session and I build equity by sharing information about my work/experience. If the other person voluntarily talks about opportunities for me I try to downplay my interest and tell him that he can call or let me know whenever it is convenient to him – being too eager may kill the prospect. I take his card and on the next day make it a point to send him my portfolio and details of my achievements, making sure that I don’t ask anything about the business opportunity he might have mentioned.”

Doesn’t that make a lot of sense? This man knows the game well!

I know this isn’t a comprehensive discussion on Business Networking – see it more like one useful tip that can help you achieve better results from the time invested in networking.

One at a time works best!


Note: This works best when you make repeat visits to the same group and have further opportunities to meet the members.

If it is a conference or an annual networking gathering that is a one-time opportunity it makes sense to meet more, but again its best to meet a select few than to meet “all”. A friend suggested that we should do some homework and make a list of people we wish to meet – that is a smart idea if you know who all are going to be present at the gathering. Its best not to do too much, stick to a few important ones and invest quality into each meeting.

  1. October 3, 2012 at 2:12 am

    There can be no omnibus solution or aptitude to all situations. That said, it is indeed true that lesser the diversions, the better the focus.

    • JayadevM
      October 3, 2012 at 3:48 am

      Nicely put – Yes! Dealing with each situation on merit is a smart option.

  2. October 3, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Hi Jayadev

    Seeing the title, I did send my brain on some crazy trip, but knowing your posts its was not all that crazy 😀 This man does make a lot of sense. Thats a very prudent approach.

    • JayadevM
      October 3, 2012 at 8:22 am

      Hi Jayashree

      These days one is forced to deploy every trick in the book to attract readers … I wouldn’t have such issues if I wrote romance or recipes.

      But Sales is a different kettle of fish and the writer needs to use strong hooks to draw the reader. 🙂

      Yes, it was a sound practice in action and I had to tell everyone about it.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Jamy
    October 6, 2012 at 3:52 am

    Interesting article Jay! makes a lottta sense!!

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