Ozumba and Peter are business competitors who are both into Cassava production. They were invited separately for an event, and when they got there, they spotted a man by name Alhaji Otuwe Adamu who people refer to as one of the “movers and shakers” in the manufacturing industry. No wonder they had always longed to meet and share ideas with him that would help expand their various businesses and make it more productive.
Ozumba had laudable ideas that could help both his business and that of Alhaji Adamu’s own but he was confused, he didn’t know how to approach this man and sell his ideas to him. Unfortunately he did not have his business cards on him as he assumed, it would be another regular party.
While he tried to get his thoughts together, trying to figure how he would approach the man, Peter who was seated across the hall and had also been longing to meet Alhaji Adamu, immediately straightened his shirt and walked up to him.
After Ozumba had summoned the courage to approach Alhaji Adamu, he saw Alhaji broadly smiling walking out with Peter. Instantly, he lost courage.
He didn’t know what ideas Peter must have discussed with the man, he wasn’t sure if the man would appreciate his own ideas after he had seen him hold Peter’s hands.
He felt his own ideas wouldn’t matter anymore and there was no need to approach the man again.
Do you think Ozumba acted right? Was there something he could have done differently? What are the mistakes Ozumba made?
We will highlight some of the mistakes Ozumba made and offer suggestions to aspiring and promising entrepreneurs out there.
Ozumba shouldn’t have given up so easily and still have approached Alhaji Otuwe Adamu regardless of whatever transpired between Peter and him.. Peter went to present his own ideas and network, and that shouldn’t have stopped Ozumba from also approaching him. His idea may be different from Peter’s with a different objective and results.
Secondly, forgetting his business card was a wrong move! This made him miss an opportunity he may never get back. Rehearsing and preparing a brief “elevator speech,” as well as proper personal and business introduction will be very helpful especially if you’re nervous about meeting new people.
It is important to pay attention to your appearance as first impressions count a lot.
Away from Ozumba’s case, here are other things you should also take note of:
2. Focus on what you can do for others, not what they can do for you.
3. Be curious about what other people do. Ask questions.
If at a networking event, do not monopolize people’s time. Remember that everybody is there for the same reason as you: To network.
When you leave a conversation, ask for their permission to contact them and suggest a goal for the meeting.