Some people will disagree with the title of this article.
But hear me out:
Networking events should be about NETWORKING.
Networking, the process of building a network of people who are connected to you and know about your work and what you are looking for. Not selling, the process of getting people to buy what you have to offer.
Networking EVENTUALLY leads to sales.
But that can take time. Maybe dozens of contact points. So if you enter a networking event ready to hard sell, you are likely to push away people who would later have become clients or referral sources.
That's right. I said it. Nothing is more annoying at a networking event that having to hide from that one person who won't stop talking about why their service/product is exactly what you need. Everyone in the room has something they want to sell; you aren't a better salesperson for taking up all the space and time in the room.
You're just annoying.
And that means I will never buy your product, even if it really was something I may have needed. I don't want to have to deal with you. You'll probably try to upsell, and I'll have to deal with that mess. And forget about me referring you to others; I can't do that to them!
Friends don't make friends deal with annoying people.
Don't be the annoying person.
Go to networking events to network. You'll gain relationships, have fun, people will learn about what you do, and EVENTUALLY they may send you business.