[Ed: As you read in the last post, Jeff noticed there are three “disconnects” from reality regarding networking. He discussed the first one: “I hate networking…” or “I hate networking, but I like building relationships” In that post. Here is his response to the second disconnect. For a refresher, here is his list again:, and then the new blog post.]
1. "I hate networking..." or "I hate networking, but I like building relationships..."
2. I'm here to sell (or get a job, or meet an investor...) but no one here is buying (or hiring, or investing...)
3. Who am I do do a 1-2-1 meeting with?
“No one is buying"
This is actually what most networking professionals mean when they talk about the networking disconnect, and it is probably the main source of new networkers not seeing the value of the process. If you asked any random group about their interest in buying your product or service, from you, right NOW, few would say they are ready. The reasons are simple: they don't know you, like you, or trust you, and they are not currently looking to buy what you are offering.
Similarly, while many people attend networking events with the goal of selling something, most everyone is not there to buy. They attend events to begin or continue the process of building mutually beneficial relationships.
This disconnect is also simple: If you stop trying to sell, turn on the charm, develop relationships, and find ways to add value to those relationships (generally through referrals), people will respond by making referrals to you!