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The very word sends shivers down some people’s spines.
Some greasy person in your face, shooting their mouth off about something you’re not really interested in, pushing a business card into your hand, not letting you leave as you desperately search the room for someone, anyone, to rescue you.
No, you don’t want to go to events like that.
I’m a member of a BNI group. A lot of people hate BNI too - it’s very formal, it’s very structured and it’s quite rigid in how it does things. But our group is big, very very positive and we put a lot of effort into welcoming visitors to the group without selling to them.
Because the single best thing you can do when you meet someone new is not push your products or services on them - instead, stand and listen to them and figure out what it is you can do to help them. It may be nothing, it may be something tiny, it could be something huge. But by starting out by helping them, you immediately set yourself apart from everyone other networker out there.