By Nikki Viljoen of N Viljoen Consulting CC
Craig Harrison says that the reason that Networking may not be working for you is because of the basic 9 mistakes that Networker’s make. I have been going through these over the few weeks and let’s see if this is what is holding you back.
The ninth and final mistake that Networker’s make, according to Craig is “Disrespect the Tao of Networking. Networker’s who are obsequious to those they believe can help them, yet rude to those they believe can’t help them, disrespect networking. I’ve had networker’s disparage the last person they met whilst in conversation with me. I was afraid to let them go for fear of what they would next say about me! That’s the antithetical to the spirit of networking. One networker took my card and in front of me, wrote the letter A on it, and boasted he was “putting me in his A list.” Let’s just say he was clearly the biggest A I met that night!”
I recently experienced someone who disrespected me and my time and quite frankly I am still peeved about the whole incident. This person, let’s call him George, was happy to set up an appointment with me and I sat with him for an hour, listening carefully to what he did and who his target market was and then put together a list of people out of my data base that I felt could help him or even, in some cases who he could pitch his product to. It took another hour to sit down and mail him with the names and contact details of all these referrals and copy them on the mail, telling them who he was and what it was that he did – so that they knew he would be contacting them. I call this a warm lead.
A few months later George and I met at another networking meeting. After the meeting he, another fellow and I sat having a drink and discussing how networking was ‘working’ for us, when George asked me if I had any additional folk that I could recommend him to. I again made a list of people and a few days later repeated the exercise of mailing him and the people that I was recommending him to.
Imagine, my disgust when several months later George and I hooked up, again at a networking event. George had had a few too many glasses of red wine and was clearly not in control of all of his faculties as he smilingly told me that he had not bothered to contact a single person that I had referred him to. I was absolutely astonished, and he ‘sort of realising’ his mistake, actually asked me to re-send all the information and contact details that I had so painstakingly already sent to him.
This for me was the highest form of disrespect to me as an individual. George had not only wasted my time, but in not contacting anyone, he had basically told me that my contacts and referrals were not worth the paper that they were written on.
You see, George had a mindset that he himself couldn’t get past. George had decided in his own mind that I was not worthy because he could not sell me anything and therefore there was no-one that I knew who could possibly be worthy of his product.
The worst of it is that George believes that he is a networker of note!
Needless to say, George will never get a name or a telephone number out of me again, let alone the time of day.
Understand that although the individual with whom you meet, may not be able to use or need whatever product or whatever service that you are selling, they have, without a shadow of a doubt though, someone in their own database that will need that product or that service.
Don’t be quick to judge someone. You have no idea who they are and more importantly, you have no idea who they know.
Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or firstname.lastname@example.org