Sell the sizzle not the steak

I attended a networking workshop at the BBC the other day. I was wondering how it was going to go, because sometimes the workshops at work can be hit and miss. The trainer for the workshop was down to earth Darren Jenkins from digienable. Darren was good and his advice was welcomed.

Now I know most of you are saying why the heck are you (mr social butterfly and social geek event organiser) doing at a networking workshop? Well most of the things I do are picked up after working it out for myself rather than learned. When I signed up I wanted to understand what other people were told because I’ve seen some weird stuff.

Anyway during the workshop, I listen and chipped in now & then. But what got me thinking in the middle of the workshop is the similarity to dating. I hadn’t really thought about it in this way before, but the more Darren talked and I thought about it. The closer to dating it sounded.

Most of you will be thinking “Duhhhh yes of course, relationships are relationships be them business or a love interest” Laid out on paper it makes sense, but I’ve never really put it on paper like that.

Some key points, which really hit home…

First date, first contact
The politics of who pays extends deeply into networking. Darren talked about trying to buy the first coffee or paying for everything to make a good impression. Of course I disapproved. But at least he told it as it was… “Its a power play…

Selling the Sizzle
You got a short time (1min) to tell the other person about yourself, what you do and your general thoughts about things. Sounds like Speed dating, but no were actually talking about networking.

One thing which I’ve not been doing recently is selling the sizzle. When speed dating recently I’ve been under-selling how great things are for myself by describing what I actually do rather than the effect. Not sure why I’ve been doing this but it certainly applies for dating as well as networking…

Social object theory
Of course no workshop would be complete without a bit of give and take. Darren was good enough to remind me to sell the sizzle, so I thought I’d talk about social object theory. He never heard of it but had been using it, regardless.

It was a good workshop and funny to hear Darren is partner to Liz Hardwick from Manchester Girl Geeks.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

3 thoughts on “Sell the sizzle not the steak”

Comments are closed.