Diverse group of business people having a meetup

NNBN INSIGHT – TELL DON’T SELL! Why selling in business networks doesn’t work

In the dynamic world of business networking, the temptation to dive headfirst into sales pitches during meetings is often strong. However, the reality is that trying to sell outright within these settings is akin to attempting immediate gratification in a world built on relationship-building and trust.

Business network meetings serve as a fertile ground for establishing connections, nurturing relationships, and building a network that sustains and fosters future opportunities. Trying to sell outright in these environments is comparable to starting a diet and expecting instant weight loss or anticipating becoming a grandmaster in chess after moving just one pawn—it simply doesn’t align with the natural progression of things.

Effective networking isn’t about instant transactions; it’s about cultivating meaningful connections. It’s like tending to a garden; you plant the seeds, nurture them, and patiently watch them grow before reaping the rewards. Similarly, in networking, the focus should be on cultivating relationships rather than closing immediate sales.

Attempting to push products or services without building rapport often leads to missed opportunities. People attend business network meetings not solely to make purchases but to establish connections, exchange ideas, and explore potential collaborations. Selling without establishing a foundation of trust and rapport might not only yield minimal success but could also damage potential future interactions.

A successful networking strategy involves patience, persistence, and a genuine interest in understanding others’ needs. It involves actively listening, offering value, and demonstrating how your expertise or products can address others’ pain points over time. Building relationships takes time, but the dividends in terms of referrals, partnerships, and long-term business alliances are invaluable.

In essence, the key lies in reframing the purpose of business network meetings. Rather than viewing them as immediate sales opportunities, consider them as platforms for relationship-building. Embrace the process, invest in connections, and over time, the fruits of a well-nurtured network will naturally flourish, bringing forth opportunities and business growth beyond mere transactions.


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