Pounce: Great For Tigers, Not So Good For Their Prey!
How many have you met out networking?
POSTED BY JACKY SHERMAN ON 06/04/2016 @ 8:00AM
Most people admire the tiger except, of course, when you're going to be his dinner. Have you met tigers like this when you're networking? Are you sure you're not one yourself?
How many tigers have you met out networking? Maybe you've been one yourself?
copyright: kamonrat / 123rf stock photo
Here are three ways you can make people feel like prey and want to run away from you:
Ask for an introduction to a really important contact of someone you've only just met
I love Ivan Misner's example of this, and in particular, the response he had from someone who didn't agree with him. He calls it premature solicitation and refers to "a situation where someone whom I had never met and didn't know asked me to introduce him and his product to a very important connection of mine."
After sharing this with his online forum he received this response from a real tiger: "I don't happen to believe that you need a relationship with the person you are asking first. What you must have is a compelling story or product/service that would genuinely benefit the referral. The fact that you had not cultivated a relationship with the person has become irrelevant because, more importantly, you had been in a position to help [your contact] benefit from the introduction.
If it's of genuine benefit to the person being referred, I don't see the problem ... it's about the benefit of what's being referred rather than the relationship with the person asking for the referral. Who am I to deny my contacts of something good?"
Click here to read Ivan's response.
Hard sell your product/services to someone at your first one-to-one meeting
My personal favourite example of feeling like prey was from a web designer who got me running like Usain Bolt. As fellow networkers, we had arranged to meet for an initial one-to-one.
He opened with the news that he had analysed my website and he had a long list of things that were wrong with it and how his company could improve it.
Can't remember any of the detail as I stopped listening as all that was going round my head was "how dare he and how can I get away from this person?" Whatever made him think that would inspire me to refer him to my contacts let alone use his services myself?
Ask to build a strategic relationship with someone at your first one-to-one meeting
This personal example of being the tiger always makes me blush with shame. In my defence, it was in my early days of networking. Having listened to someone a couple of times in a new networking group I had joined, I was incredibly impressed with what one woman had to say and felt there was a lot of synergy between our offerings, so I arranged to have a one to one with her. I enthusiastically opened with effusive compliments and how I had been looking to meet someone like her and how we could work together.
She was very gentle, but firmly told me that she really didn't like to be pressured and that first we should get to know each other. I can feel my cheeks going hot just remembering it!
So a simple tip this week: No matter how hungry you are for business, build your relationships with your fellow networkers first, then you can work out how best you can help each other.
Try purring instead of pouncing.
Until next time ...
More about Jacky Sherman ...
I help people build and maintain productive working relationships both with their work colleagues and with a wider network to win more business. I do this by combining my skills in coaching, mediation and training with my extensive experience in senior management.
What I love most about my work is when my clients get those a-ha moments because I know they have seen for themselves the way that they want to move forward. Then they will achieve their ambitions.
Helping people who are having challenges with their working relationships gives me enormous pleasure. It was my privilege when working in health care to see how people working together can make the impossible seem easy and accomplish miracles as a result.
So helping people build or restore strong relationship with their colleagues makes even the hardest work easier, alleviates distress for the individual and reduces problems for the whole organisation.
In all this work trust is an essential ingredient to winning business so most of my work comes through referrals. Referrals come through strong business relationships so it was a natural extension for me to work with Ascentiv and train others in how to get consistent and predictable referrals from their network.
What a fantastic way to earn a living!