Friday, August 17, 2007

Not Hunting but Farming

You may have heard about how networking is more about farming than hunting. Successful networkers sow the seeds of long-term relationships and reap the benefit over time, while failed networkers spend their time chasing down their prey at networking events, with the business card as their weapon of choice.

Now imagine that you are a graphic designer with a small business. You meet the head of a major local advertising agency at an event, someone who surely has a need for your services. How do you react?

It is lucky for Kelly Molson of Rubber Cheese that she is a natural networker and didn't launch straight into an elevator pitch when she did bump into the local advertising mogul eighteen months ago. For Kelly, it was more important that, despite a short conversation at the event, the two of them had a lot in common and 'clicked'.

Kelly and her new contact stayed in touch for the next year, talking on the telephone, exchanging emails and arranging to meet for coffee. At no point was business high on the agenda, they simply connected.

This week Kelly thought she should get in touch with her advertising contact as they hadn't spoken for a while. Five minutes after sending an email, Kelly received a reply, and one hour later her contact called her asking if they could meet as she wanted to discuss some business.

One of the designers at the agency is going on maternity leave and Kelly has been asked if Rubber Cheese can cover her absence.

Kelly is delighted with the outcome. "It's a completely unexpected result which I am really pleased about, but it wasn’t the reason I wanted to stay in touch.
We had made such a good connection initially and had so much in common; I really wanted to be her friend. After our meeting today I have even more respect for her and cannot wait to work for the agency."

1 comment:

  1. Great example of why building relationships for the long term can pay off. If you focus on getting to know someone more on a personal basis, then when it comes time for business it is a very comfortable transaction. After all, people like to do business with people they consider friends.