You’re no good to me!

I was at a networking event once; it was in a nice restaurant, lovely evening, great food and pretty good wine.  Just a typical, well to be honest, better than average, networking event with well over one hundred people intent on doing business or just having a good time.

I’ve been to many similar events – some good, some bad – but I have never witnessed what I did that evening.  I have to say that even I was speechless!

I’m sure that we have all seen the inexperienced, or just plain bad, networker who thrusts their business card in your face and says “If you ever need a (whatever it is) you know where to find one”, and disappears as quickly as they appeared. But this person, at this event, took it a whole stage further.

He walked up to the person I was standing behind and said, and I am not making this up, it really did happen, “Hi.  Have you got a will?”  The startled man said, “Yes” and this guy just said “Well you’re no good to me then”, and walked off.  I still can’t believe I heard it or saw it happen.  Needless to say, I avoided that person for the rest of the evening.

So, what’s my point?  Other than the fact this is not a good way for anyone, ever, to act when at a networking event.

Well it’s simple. Networking is about the beginning of a relationship; it’s not about selling whatever it is that you are selling.  Not at the event any way.  It’s about helping people; it’s about building relationships that hopefully will be rewarding and beneficial to both parties, over many years.  Above all, it has nothing to do with a quick sale and moving on to the next prospect.

If you treat networking with respect and forget the quick hit, I promise you networking will bring you the rewards that you are looking for.

Thank You ……….

Most well-mannered people say Thank You.

However, I have to admit that I, almost, dislike intensely people who don’t say ‘Thank You’. I don’t know if they are half-asleep or just plain rude.
I’ve held a door open for someone and they just walk through as if it’s their right, without even a flick of the eyes in acknowledgement. Many a time I’ve given them a sarcastic ‘Thank You’ in passing but most often it doesn’t even register.

Then of course there are car drivers. You’ve pulled in to let them pass, or stopped to allow them into a stream of traffic, and you get nothing in return.

Surely it’s a common courtesy, just well-mannered, to say thank you?

But enough of my ranting, because I’m actually writing about those people who do say ‘Thank You’ – which in my experience is the majority of people.

‘Thank You’, ‘Thanks’, ‘Cheers’ are all nice to hear but often are ‘lost’ because it’s a semi-automatic response from a naturally polite person and you are expecting it.

Here’s a simple example – you give someone a tube of Smarties and they say thank you. Nothing wrong with that, it’s polite. The moment passes without much further thought.

But how much better would it be if instead the person said, ‘Thank you, I love Smarties’? How much better would you feel? You had got them a gift they really liked.

Think back over the last few times that someone has thanked you for something. I bet you remember, and feel better about, the times that you received more than a plain thank you.

In business, and your personal life, you will see a big improvement in your relationships if you thank people with more than just a bare ‘Thank You’.

And it’s so easy to do.

When a delivery is made, rather than saying ‘Thank you’, say ‘Thank you for delivery so quickly’ or ‘Thank you for stacking the boxes for me.’

If someone gives you a referral, try saying, ‘Thank you, that’s just the sort of work I love.’

As often as possible add something to your thank you. Imagine how you would feel if someone took the time to thank you specially. Well that’s exactly how they will feel.

It’s only a small thing but I promise it will make a massive difference to your relationships.

And thank you for taking the time to read this blog.

Smile please!

I’ve recently started to mentor a business owner who needs more sales, not just to make a profit, but just to stand a chance of staying in business. Now there are a number of things that we need to work on urgently, and one of the most important is the marketing of the business.

The simple truth is that the business is a good one; it just needs more sales. The trouble is, however good a business you may have, without sales it’s dead. So, the marketing of any business is the key to its success.

The market, message and media are critical. You need to know your exact market, craft a message to that market, and know which media to use to access that market. But that’s all for another day.

What I want to talk about here is one of the major problems that this business has. It only has one route to market and that route isn’t working. A significant problem!

The first thing we did was to consider every route to market that we could think of; in just a few minutes we had upwards of forty. Why not stop here for a moment and write down how many you can think of in a minute? We then worked through our list and picked twelve that would work the best. Having twelve or more routes to market is a good guide. Not the most obvious, cheapest or easiest, but the ones that would work the best and that could be achieved. No good a small company thinking of advertising on prime-time television, for example.

On the list was networking. Why? Because it could be started the next day, can work well and is low in cost. However, after a few weeks, it became apparent that networking really wasn’t working and I suggested that at the next networking event I go along with him. I would watch and listen and see if I could spot anything that he could do differently. Well, it wasn’t long before I came up with one major problem. He looked miserable! He was my client and even I wouldn’t want to go over and say “Hello”.

Think about it, unless you are a life coach, when was the last time that you were out networking and you went and looked for the most depressed person in the room? I can only imagine never!

So, if you find that networking is a pretty lonely place, that nobody wants to talk to you, just ask yourself: What do I look like? And then smile. It makes such a difference.

You could even try an experiment. Smile at the next person you meet and see what happens. Bet you they smile back!