I’ve recently ramped up the networking, as my business is at that bubble point where I’m considering adding more folks and a new client or two could push me over that decision.

I had several recent networking experiences, and thought I’d share my thoughts about how to ask for business and how to network, and when to do one, the other or neither!!

Social Event:

I was at a friends house for dinner and was discussing his wife’s career. She described her business, and some of the projects their company was working on that were similar to work I do with my business (www.cameronknowles.com). I asked for her feedback on how the projects were going, and of course mentioned that my business does those kinds of things. Later, I asked my friend whether I had crossed a line, and he thought we were fine. What do you think?

Networking Events:

I was at two networking events recently. In both events, I spent time asking about my conversation-partner’s business, and also discussing my company’s work. I did not make an overt sales pitch, such as ‘I can help you get x done’, but rather talked about how their businesses use creative services, and discussing similar projects that I’ve done in the past. In one instance, I met someone in the my field who could be perceived as a competitor, but took a ‘let’s compare notes’ approach to the conversation there.

Meeting with a Client:

I was with a client the other day and was introduced to one of the client’s client’s, who works in a completely different field. My client was highly complimentary of both of our work, and I exchanged business cards with the person and offered to do the same high quality job for them as I have been doing for the client who introduced us. We all laughed, because it was a very overt sales pitch, but my client was very comfortable recommending my work in my presence, so I felt it was appropriate to put on the :30 second sales pitch.

What do you think of the above situations? I look forward to your feedback.