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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