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It seems to be common knowledge these days that we tend to do business with those we like, trust, and have an established relationship with. So if this is true, why are so many professionals turned off by “networking”?
My experience has taught me that one of the most common misconceptions about networking is that people walk into a networking event with the mindset that other attendees are there to “get something” from them or sell them something. Entering into a networking event with this expectation is likely to attract the people in the room that are there just for that reason, rather than there to meet other like-minded professionals and develop a long lasting relationship.
A simple alteration in mindset can provide profound results. I challenge you to start the New Year with a different belief. Next time you are at networking event go with the mindset of “how can I help you” rather than thinking “what are you trying to sell me”. Take this a step further and ask people questions such as: “other than a direct referral is there another way I can help you grow your business?”; or “Is there a specific type of industry/professional that you typical partner with that perhaps I could introduce you to?”. These questions allow you begin to build a relationship with other like-minded, referral oriented people who will likely be excited to reciprocate. Typically, those professionals only interested in making a direct sale will not have answers to these questions and will not want to take the time to meet with you or anyone you offer to introduce them too since they are only seeking transactional opportunities. You may be surprised by the results that are generated by having this dialogue.
Lindsey Smith is a Del Mar resident and founder of San Diego Office Properties. She serves as a trusted advisor for San Diego’s owners and occupiers of commercial space. Lindsey comes from a family of “serial entrepreneurs” and has a true passion for helping local businesses find office space that is aligned with their corporate strategy, culture and budget. Lindsey is a graduate of the University of San Diego. She began her real estate career in 2003 working at a large corporate brokerage house and founded San Diego Office Properties in 2012. San Diego Office Properties functions under the KW Commercial umbrella which allows clients access to a national platform and corporate resources while capitalizing on the flexibility that only a boutique firm can offer.