“I really enjoy meeting people and chatting, I have no qualms about that. But at meetings or events, I don’t feel it’s appropriate—and I’m not comfortable—discussing business or trying to make a sale. Can you provide some perspective about this?”
I coached a woman in Texas once who had a close friend down the road whose husband was an executive vice president at a large insurance company. The woman didn’t know him well, but the two would come over to a monthly barbecue my client hosted at her home. She asked, “How can I possibly conduct a business conversation much less make a sale at a social event?”
I told her, “When you hand him a hot dog, don’t let it go right away, and tell him you’d like to stop by his office during the coming week to discuss some work you’ve done for organizations like his that saved a ton of money. When is a good time? Don’t let go of the hot dog until he commits!”
Keep in mind you’re not trying to make a sale, you’re trying to start a process. That why you don’t want to hand anything out or have long conversations. (Some people stupidly try to hand out their books.) Just begin the process with a simple question, some clear value, and request a meeting. Get their email and cell number if you need to schedule something. Do that enough and you can deduct the barbecues, as well!