How NOT to Network Your Way to Sales Success…Version 467


Alright, the situation, its aftermath and lessons learned that I am about to describe here is not really “insight”, since it’s been offered as such by visionaries of all types over the years. But when you witness something done firsthand that you know is just a huge, major faux-pas when it comes to Sales success, it changes your perception of that outstanding bit of advice which you have in fact received many times before.

Changing the details on purpose for sake of indentity, I was at an event recently, engaged in a discussion with several people about the state of the Web world, the sales potential for Streaming Music, Web Video Content and WebTV, plus other similar topics. Someone that I was acquainted with, whom I had not seen in quite some time, came up to say hello to me, upon which I introduced them around to the other people that were present.

As soon as this person heard the name/firm of one of the people standing there, this other person immediately started reaching around in their coat/jacket, looking for business cards in a somewhat awkward manner, and immediately proceeded to say, “Wow, you could really help me out by…” Fill in the blank here. I won’t go further into a description of what was said. [Do I really need to?]

It was literally that quick, and happened that fast. I was myself taken aback by the brazen, overtly selfish nature of this declaration. And as it turned out, I don’t even know really the reaction of the poor person this was directed at, being that they were whisked aside, apparently to hear more as to how they could ‘help’ this new person they’d just met [thanks to ME, no less.]

Note the sequence, and the wording: Person meets potential key conduit or facilitator. Person immediately says, ‘Wow, you could really help me out.’ …Wow. “You”. Could. Really. Help. “Me”. Out.

No small talk, no interest in the other person. No thought as to whether this person would even WANT to help them out, and worse, no indication that maybe, maybe…they could help this person out with something that THEY needed help with.

Obviously, this breaks nearly every Sales/Etiquette/Diplomacy/Human Interest practice out there, that I know of. Yet here it was, happening in 2010. I think the recipient of this largesse [kidding] was taken aback as I was, but was gracious enough to not protest too loudly, in a class sort of manner.

But funny enough…or is that sadly enough[?]… I have not heard back that the person doing all this, is now any farther along in getting “access” to this important company, than they were before. In other words, this effort failed. It is indeed, NOT the way to network.

I have become a big believer in recent days, of the Pay it Forward Chronicles concept, by Chuck Hester, an early adopter of both social media overall, and LinkedIN in particular. His idea of always asking people you meet, ‘How Can I Help You?’, was not in play this day, in this situation.

Another great from another day, Zig Ziglar, may have said it best: “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

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~ by MindOnMediaSales on June 29, 2010.

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