Stop networking, start building relationships

Mike Crandall, Sandler Custom Growth Solutions

If you’re a business owner or salesperson, you probably spend a lot of time going to networking events, hoping you’ll find the right connections.

For most events, the barrier to entry is pretty low, which is great if you’re just starting out. But for those further along in their careers it becomes a problem. You probably have a good idea of the type of person you need to talk to and it takes a lot of time to pull them out of the crowd.

And as a busy professional, time is your most precious resource – you need to invest it wisely.

Shaking a lot of hands

I like going to events like chamber meetings and getting to know new people.

Even though I have a good time at these kinds of meetings, I have to be careful with how much time I dedicate to them because they aren’t always productive.

I think a lot of business owners and sales pros feel the same way. They have fun, but they leave not feeling like they’ve accomplished anything.

If you’re trying to establish quality relationships with other professionals by going to a bunch of random networking events, your strategy is largely powered by hope and luck.

Spending hours every week going to events and just hoping you meet the one or two people you need to meet out a crowd of hundreds is inefficient, if not unwise.

Raising the bar

One way to spend your time more efficiently is to find events that are more exclusive. If there’s a nontrivial barrier to entry, you know the people who are going to be there are serious about their business and careers.

They’ve made an investment and are interested in talking to other people who mean business. One of the main goals of OKPSA is to provide this kind of environment for seasoned salespeople and business owners.

When you’re at an exclusive event like an OKPSA meeting, you can stop worrying about networking and focus on building quality business relationships that will last for years instead of just the time it takes to exchange business cards.

It’s an opportunity to find mentors and peers you can learn from as well as contacts that may be able to help you grow your business. You might also find people you can help, either by sharing your expertise or helping them connect with the right businesses.

Participating in such a focused environment means you’ll be investing less of your time for a bigger return.

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