Networking Without Follow-Through Is a Waste of Time

Smart, enterprising businesspeople know the importance of networking and how it can be a huge opportunity to increase word-of-mouth marketing and gain business referrals. However, one of the biggest mistakes people can make is failing to follow through.

This story came from one of my employees several years ago and I think that it serves as an important lesson to all of us on how networking without follow-through is nothing more than a waste of time.

Note: The names in this story have been changed to protect the innocent . . . and the guilty.

The Story

My employee, whom we’ll call Winnie, needed the services of a graphic designer to assist her with the creation of a website for her father’s business. She attended a local networking mixer where she met Blake, a graphic designer, who seemed excited about the project and claimed he could accomplish exactly what she needed at a very reasonable price.

They exchanged contact information and connected the next week by phone to discuss the project in further detail. Winnie was pleased with Blake’s ideas and liked the examples she had seen of his work. She told him he seemed like the perfect person to help her with the project and that she’d like him to send her a price quote as soon as possible.

A week passed and Winnie heard nothing from Blake. When she called him to ask about it, he said he was working on a quote and gave her a lame excuse about being busy. Another week went by and, again, nothing from Blake. While Winnie was frustrated, she was still willing to give Blake another chance because she really did like his work. She sent him an email and left him a voicemail saying that she would love to give him her business and was anxious to hear back from him.

The End of the Story

Well, after two weeks had gone by without any response from him, Winnie found another graphic designer. To this day (as far as we know), Blake has never responded.

And Yet…

Here’s what blows my mind . . . I know for a fact that this guy, “Blake,” was still frequenting local networking mixers (which cost money to attend, by the way) trying to drum up more business. Yet when he had money practically sitting on the table in front of him, he failed to follow through. No matter what his reason was for not getting back to Winnie–being too busy, too lazy or whatever else–he shouldn’t be out there networking if he can’t follow through on what he claims to be able to deliver. He is wasting his time (and money) and, more important, he’s wasting other people’s time–which is only earning him a bad name and reputation.

Who spends countless hours networking hoping to fail and see zero results from their efforts? That’s right, no one! I find it astounding that people single-handedly sabotage their success; they guarantee their own failure by failing to follow up with the contacts they make.

If you don’t plan on following up, don’t plan on showing up. The moral of this story: If you aren’t prepared to follow through, networking is a complete waste of time.

If you have a “Blake the Flake” story of your own, I’d love to hear about your experience. Share your story in the comments section.

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Networking Without Follow-Through Is a Waste of Time

  1. I think this is true. Actually this is 100% correct. Am avid net worker, this is one way of how I generate leads. Ideally, I have learned people do business with people they know at a personal level. And allow me ask; how will someone entrust you with the money he/she has worked so hard to get? You must net work/show up, do follow up/create rapport even if it takes you a while to crack that deal. That is it!

  2. I think this is true. Actually this is 100% correct. Am an avid net worker, this is one way of how I generate leads. Ideally, I have learned people do business with people they know at a personal level. And allow me ask; how will someone entrust you with the money he/she has worked so hard to get? You must net work/show up, do follow up/create rapport even if it takes you a while to crack that deal. That is it!

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