He then went on to explain to me that he makes tons of introductions for people all of the time. He also expressed his frustration about not getting enough clients or referrals for all of his "efforts"
When I offered to connect him to some people in the same profession, he didn't want to be connected because he "couldn't possibly refer someone who does something like what his company does"
I politely came up with a way to leave the meeting.
So here are a few things we can learn from this interaction:
1. The best "networkers" I've met never refer to themselves as networkers.
2. The best ways to get people to want to work with you is to be focused on their success, not yours.
3. If you make an introduction, it is a gift. If you expect something in return it ceases to be a gift.
4. Just because someone does what you do, doesn't mean you can't work with them. Open minds, lead to open networks.
5. If you are great at connecting people, then people will talk. You don't need to tell anyone about your skills. We will all just know.
This experience reminded me that there is still a lot of miseducation out there. The main thing to remember in any of these scenarios is that in every meeting, we want to learn about and help the other person. There is no competition, only specialization. So take the time today to think about this when you are going to your meetings. I'm sure then you won't have a problem with your networking NOT working.