What do you do when people criticise your business model at networking events

Over on the The Networking Retreat Facebook Group there has been a lot of talk recently about different businesses and business models.
What I’ve noticed is thatĀ far too often see criticism of their trade/profession/industry as a threat, whereas I have always seen it as an opportunity.
Rather than getting defensive, when someone rips into your thing, why not, instead, just quietly do your thing and invest the energy in getting better at it?
When I was an estate agent, estate agency in general had a very bad name, and thatĀ bad name was encouraged by TV programmes as it made great television. I saw that as an opportunity, an opportunity to be better, an opportunity to stand out by caring more and by doing more than the others. I reckon other people being bad at what you do is a huge opportunity for anyone to shine, rather than get bogged down in the conversation and sweeping statements about your industry or profession.
If you go to a networking event, and there was someone there previously who tried their best to give your profession or trade or business model a bad name, you have a huge opportunity to show people how good what you do it, when you do it properly. Too often people feel discouraged when they go to networking meetings and a previous incumbent hasn’t done their business any favours. To me that is again a massive opportunity to shine. Over time people will see you being professional, they will see you working hard, they will see you just being better in every way than whoever was there before.
Something else that I realised a long time ago (I started my career when Bros were last famous, so you can work it out) is that some people will never be converted. That being the case, why even bother trying? Focus on the people who do get what you do, and they will, in turn, bring more people who get it too. Focus on the people who don’t dig it, and they will just tell more people why they don’t.
The doubters will always doubt, the haters will always hate. Instead of expending energy fighting back against them, use your energy to work out how you become better and then use even more energy to do it.
Win by being better (that’s not mine by the way, it’s a Braddism). Spend your energy on the things which will take you forward and simply don’t give the doubters the oxygen.

“I implemented one more thing from the Retreat and it has resulted in a new client which gives me a positive ROI within 6 days”
Claire McTernan – Employee to Business Owner

“within two months I went from an average of one client per month from networking, to five clients”
Samantha Rollins, Trinity Accountants