If anything I shy away from talking about What I Do at the first meeting, because I am afraid that my words will pigeon-hole me and from that point on any problem that doesn’t fit the pigeon-hole will not be passed my way.
“I write macros in Excel VBA” is a sure-fire way to be branded as an Excel-macro guru (Note: not an Excel guru, not a macro guru, but a very specialized guru who we’ll probably never need).
So I was pleased to read in The 59 Commandments of Business Networking “Somewhere down the road sales people were given the idea that business networking meant pitching and selling. Eek! Nothing could be further from the truth.”
If you are thinking of trying my approach, and treating the cost of a $40 meal for two as the equivalent of a finders-fee (or your weekly entertainment if, like me, you aren’t into the movies/clubs scene), then read the article.
It might give you courage.
P.S. For free.