Monday, January 21, 2008

And You Went, Ate and Left?

It always amazes me how with a little encouragement, a room of very diversified people can help each other.

Last Friday, we had our first Educational Preview of the year for the Certified Networker course. The ultimate goal is to have people want more of what they're given in the two hour session, so they register for the course. Devious, aren't we?

A second, very important objective is to get the participants to connect with others in the room so they can help each other. Sometimes it works better than others. I don't think it has anything to do with the occupation of the people. I think it has to do with if I'm "on" that day in presenting and also with the attitude of the participants.

Last Friday was the best. Right from the start I could tell that this group had "a helping mindset." When we had a break, even though my direct instructions were, "To get with the person in this room you can help," they didn't hesitate. They immediately wanted to trade cards and schedule appointments with each other. It was fun to watch.

So my question is, "Why doesn't that happen with other networking groups?" I am particularly thinking of chamber events. It is my experience that people come to eat, try to sell themselves and then leave.

How can we change that mindset, so instead people arrive early to connect, find out what others need and then schedule appointments before leaving? Or is that like trying to turn an ocean freighter at sea?

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