Circle of influence!

I was at an ABC Networks meeting last week when a guest came marching up to the host of the event and launched into a tirade about how difficult it was to find the venue.

The host, a very experienced host and well respected lady in the local business community was humble and did everything possible to calm and placate the guest without success. The guest continued to be curt and disrespectful and finished by saying “There are not enough people in the room, so I would be wasting my time being here!” Then marched out!

Imagine the message this conveyed to the people that were in the room.

It doesn’t end there…

Later that day I received an email from person in question. They complained about how difficult the venue was to find and how rude and unhelpful the host had been. Interesting!

They clearly didn’t realise I was there and witnessed the whole episode along with all of the other attendees and my version of events was very different to theirs.

I explained to the person that the AA road signs were clearly marked in every direction from all of the major roads and the exact venue details were on the ABC website. That’s not mentioning the name of the venue in massive letters on the outside of the building and ABC banners inside the building.

I also pointed out that the ethos of the ABC network is to build long term relationships and not to sell to the room. Quality over quantity. The suggestion was that if they wanted to put a sales pitch to the room, then ABC was probably not for them.

Now this throws up some really interesting points for me regarding this person’s take on networking…

  • Does this attitude work?
  • Is this transactional or relationship based?
  • What return on investment are they getting on any other networking?
  • Had they planned the journey? (Considering they had a 7o mile round trip.)
  • Where else is this behaviour showing up in their business & life?

So, all things being equal, people do business with people they like and if they don’t like you, even if you are the only person with the product or service in the room, the chances are they will NOT buy from you.

Did this person enhance his chances of people liking him at that network meeting? Probably not!

Here are 5 of my top tips for networking;

  1. It’s not about you! If you go to a network meeting with the view of what you are going to get out of it, you probably won’t be very successful. If you go with the view of how can I help someone or how can I connect someone, then they are more likely to remember you. The more you give, the more you gain! Perhaps give because you can and don’t keep score!
  2. Networking is NOT selling! Networking is about building relationships, getting to know, like and trust others. By all means, talk about your products or services, as you are there to raise the profile of your business. Have the attitude of turning strangers into friends and friends into clients!
  3. Never judge the room! You don’t know who is in the room and more importantly, who they know. Most people have a circle of influence of about 250 people and it’s these people that you ultimately could have access to. If you have judged the person in the room you will never get the opportunity to be introduced to their circle of influence who might just want your product or service.
  4. Adjust your attitude! Our attitude is everything, if you turn up to the network meeting in a bad mood, miserable or aggressive, people will sense it and not want to talk to you for any longer than necessary. So be aware of your state and how you may be coming across to others. A positive attitude can lead to positive behaviour and create success. An upbeat, positive person draws other people like a magnet. After all, who would you rather be around-someone who is strong and motivated, with the confidence to keep moving forward, or someone who stays stuck in one place, thinking of reasons why things don’t seem to happen?
  5. Listen to understand not respond! Once in a conversation, listen to others and show interest. Do not start looking around the room at others trying to spot someone more interesting. This will only get you a reputation of being rude and ignorant. Prepare a set of great questions and get used to adapting them to suit the person in front of you. Listen to them exactly how you would like them to listen to you. By listening and helping others, they are more likely to help you. Listen to understand what they are saying rather than respond with your take on things.

Back to the subject person… The Psychologists view!

With a negative attitude it is very unlikely that they will be getting a great return on the networking. It would appear that they are not the best planner in the world and probably very reactionary. They probably talk about building relationships; however, the relationship would be based on transactions. (If you do this for me, I’ll do something for you.)

Remember, “It’s not about you!” and Giving begins the receiving process!”

Do It Now!

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As someone who loves watching human behaviour patterns it fascinates me why a lot of people keep repeating the same fundamental actions and wonder why they don’t get a different result.

So here are a few actions that you may be taking, that, if you stopped, might just make a big difference to your life!

1. Criticising everyone and everything.

Life isn’t perfect. People make mistakes. Let go of unfair expectations. Stop criticising yourself and others for being human. If you feel like everyone is judging you all the time, realise that human beings often feel this way when they are too busy judging themselves.

It’s far easier to be critical than correct, just as it’s easier to see why something is lacking rather than why it is good. If you meet someone for the first time and you decide, “This is a person I don’t like,” you can basically take every one of their characteristics and find the obvious flaw. What’s hard to do is describe what you like about them, despite their incompatibility with your ideals.

Everyone is unique: not better, not worse, just unique in their own way. Appreciate the differences instead of criticising the shortcomings and you’ll see people – and yourself – in a far better light.

2. Believing that you have all the answers.

Criticising has a big brother: the know-it-all-syndrome. The older you grow, the higher you rise in your chosen field, and the more you achieve, the more likely you are to think you know it all. When you catch yourself thinking and speaking with intense finality and little tolerance for new ideas, stop yourself and take a deep breath. If you do not, you will alienate the world around you and become more and more disconnected from reality with each passing day. Few things are sadder and leave a person unhappier.

Remember, it isn’t someone who proves you wrong that hurts you; it is choosing to continue your self-deception and ignorance that eventually conquers you entirely.

The measure of your intelligence and success in life will be in direct proportion to your ability to change your mind and let it expand. If someone is able to show you that what you think or do is not right, thank them and happily adjust. Seek the truth. Never stop learning.

3. Trying to control everything.

Craving control leads to anger and unhappiness. Life is to be lived, not controlled. Powerful, positive change will occur in your life when you decide to take control of yourself instead of craving control over everyone and everything else.

Imagine that you’re driving in your car and you get stuck in rush hour traffic. The traffic situation is out of your control and simply requires your patience. However, this doesn’t stop you from switching lanes, trying to cut in front of other cars, or even leaving the road you’re on to try alternate routes – all desperate efforts to gain control. Sadly, these efforts just lead to further stress and unhappiness when they are unsuccessful – when control is again obstructed.

Quite simply, the reason you are often miserable and stressed is because of an unhealthy attachment to certain things you have no control over. So let go. Release the tension and stress. Realise you haven’t lost anything; you were never in control of the uncontrollable to begin with.

4. Dwelling on what used to be.

When something negative happens, view this circumstance as a chance to learn something you didn’t know. Don’t wish it never happened. Don’t try to step back in time. Take the lessons learned and step forward. You have to tell yourself, “It’s OK. You’re doing OK!” You need to know that it’s better to cross new lines and suffer the consequences of a lesson learned from time to time, than to just stare at the lines for the rest of your life and always wonder.

The past is valuable. It provides a solid foundation for everything you’re doing now. Learn from it – the mistakes and the successes – and then let it go. This process might seem easier said than done, but it depends on your focus. The past is just training; it doesn’t define you in this moment. Think about what went wrong, but only in terms of how you will help you make things right.

The bottom line is that if nothing ever changed – if no chances were ever taken and no mistakes were ever made – there would be no sunrise the next morning. Most of us are comfortable where we are even though the whole universe is constantly changing around us. Learning to accept this change is vital to our happiness and general self-improvement. Because only when we let go of what used to be, do we grow and begin to see a world we never knew was possible.

5. Wanting everything you don’t have.

Life is NOT short if you spend every waking moment appreciating it. It’s just that by the time most of us catch up to appreciating what we have, we’ve already squandered our time and left life at least halfway behind us.

The key is being thankful for what you have NOW.

No, not all the puzzle pieces of life will seem to fit together at first, but in time you’ll realise they do, perfectly. So thank the situations that didn’t work out for you, because they just made room for the situations that will. And thank the people who walked away from you, because they just made room for the ones who won’t.

No matter how good or bad you think you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, think about what you have that everyone else is missing. Think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive in your own shoes – to breathe a fresh breath, to think another thought, to enjoy a new moment, to have options – then go out and make the day count.

6. Whinging & Whining and doing nothing about it.

Complaining does not work as a strategy. Those who complain the most, accomplish the least positive results. When you spend time fretting and complaining, you’re simply using your imagination to create things you don’t want.

Don’t talk about what’s wrong. Harping on your problems makes you feel worse, not better. Unless you want to complain about it forever, eventually you’ll have to DO something. If you took a fraction of the energy you put into complaining and applied it to solving your problem, you’d likely be stunned by how well things can work out. Start talking about how you’ll improve things, even if the conversation is only with yourself, and then focus on the next positive step. Refocus your energy into making your situation better.

Do It Now! 

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