“Pretend” Selling

Last Thursday, I facilitated a table at the Corridor Nine Speed Networking Event. There were 220+ people in the room. The format is that 9 people sit at my table, pass business cards, take one minute each to introduce themselves and move to another table to repeat the process and I get 9 new people at my table. Then, we do it again. If we do it right, everyone will have introduced themselves to 27 people and leave with 27 business cards to follow up on.

I went to this event to meet 27 people that would take my call so we could have a follow-up conversation to determine if one of us was a prospect for the other, whether we could be mutual centers of influence, or resources to each other. I got an immediate follow-up email from
<ST1John</ST1 Dudley Sr.</ST1 of United Home Experts and we’ve already had a follow-up conversation. I also got a follow up email from <ST1Dan Tinsley</ST1 of the Sullivan Insurance Group and I expect that we’ll have a follow-up conversation shortly. I also got an email from Julie Orcutt from the Central Massachusetts Convention & Visitors Bureau. And…………..are you ready for this? Russ Swallow of Benefits Lab called me. We talked and we’ll meet shortly. We probably won’t do business with each other, but we should be able to help each others’ clients.

OK, I gave every one of these people my business card. So how come I’ve only been contacted by 4 of the 27 people that sat at my table. Are they worried that if they call me, that I’ll make them buy something that they don’t want, don’t need and can’t afford? Are they just “pretend selling”? You know, they go to networking events and wait for the phone to ring. Or…..did they just come for breakfast?

2 thoughts on ““Pretend” Selling

  1. In my experience, I have found that salespeople will usually take the path of least resistance. This usually means doing as little as possible, as infrequently as possible and as poorly as possible. But this goes beyond the limits of the path of least resistance. This is unacceptable. Networking events like these should carry, as a requirement for participation, an agreement that all participants will follow up with everyone they met, or they will be prevented from attending a future event. That’s the only way to guarantee that the networking will actually take place. Of course, instituting a rule like this could drive attendance up if the event guaranteed that every attendee would be contacted by at least 27 people. But on the other hand, it could drive attendance down. If attendees knew that they wouldn’t be able to meet the follow-up requirements, then Rick Roberge and a handful of others might be the only people in attendance at the final event of the year.

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