How small talk can lead to big deals

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Woody Allen is famously quoted as saying 80 per cent of success in life is showing up. I'll add to that and say the final 20 per cent comes from talking when you're there. Even if it's just chit-chat, talking matters.

When planning a networking strategy, many people forget the simple power of serendipity. One of our members told me a story recently.

Early on in his self-employed career, he had read a business book that contained a theory about the Minimum Effective Dose or MED.

Applied to use of time, the book's theory was that the MED is simply the smallest “dose” of action that will produce a desired outcome and anything beyond the MED is therefore wasteful. Basically, a pop-science version of “use your time wisely".

After buying into this idea, he found himself driving home from a networking meeting one evening, where he had ended up spending nearly all his time just chatting to another person in the same industry as him. Chitchat and nothing more.

Applying the MED theory he deemed the meeting a waste of his time and set his mind not to attend that group again and be cautious about networking in general.

A full six months later though, he received a call from the person he had been chatting to who went on to introduce him to a company who became his biggest client for the next five years - essentially keeping his business afloat through its early days of growth.

So when you next go to a networking meeting, don't be rushing to do your table-pitch or be aiming to seek-out potential clients in the room with laser-like accuracy. Relax. Chat. Small talk matters and can lead to big things.

The Business Network Central & East Lancashire hosts a variety of networking events at quality venues across Lancashire.

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