Posts Tagged ‘Networked’
“Be seductive” the man said. “Use your voice, your eyes, your body to seduce the person you’re talking to. Make them WANT to get to know you better.”
“Most importantly”, he added, “Remember, it’s not about YOU! To be interesting you need to be more interested in the person you’re talking to than in yourself.”
“THE man” was @SteveTrister and if you haven’t seen him perform, you’re missing out big time.
Steve was entertaining a bunch of business owners and at the same time giving them invaluable tips on how to get the best out of the networking experience. His performance was brilliant; full of really funny observations about all the ways to alienate people and how to be really engaging and not just spout a tired old elevator pitch.
He put particular emphasis on being aware of the emotions we create in others and how to make real connections. Steve’s performance was great and the interactive session where he got people to practice was lively and seemed to get good results.
A few minutes later we went back to networking and the carapace of the seasoned networker slammed firmly back into place. I know habits take more than a few minutes to change but hell’s teeth, even the most unaware person in the room couldn’t have missed the main message:
IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU!
Yet here we were with myopic men peering at chests to read name badges to decide whether (chest notwithstanding) someone was worth talking to, instead of making eye contact and simply saying, “I’m Bill, who are you?”
No attempt at small talk, not even the slightest interest in the person (again, chest notwithstanding), only in the business they run.
If “What do you do?” was banned from the vocabulary, most serial networkers would be struck dumb.
Well pardon me folks, but I am more than my business. If I start a conversation with “I like your tie / necklace / hair colour / codpiece” or “What’s the wine / canapés / cocaine like?” I don’t expect the response to be “What do you do?” followed by (and usually without pausing for breath), a lengthy description about your business.
I’m looking for banter, rapport, a bit of fun, an exchange of ideas.
If I just wanted to know what business people are in I can get that from the attendance list. The reason for going to networking meetings must surely to meet the PEOPLE not the businesses, to discover if they’re funny, quirky, boring or obnoxious.
I WANT to be seduced but it seems like there’s fat chance of that ever happening.
Be honest now, how many times have you come away from a networking meeting having been totally fascinated and charmed by someone, irrespective of whether their business is of any interest to you?
Which is a shame because I’m sure in ‘real life’ most networkers are charming and fascinating and they know equally charming and fascinating people but we’re all missing out on those extended connections because we never get further than “What do you do?”. No one has a real conversation because they’re too busy looking over each other shoulders to see who they’re missing.
Whoever invented the term “Working the room” should be sent to networking purgatory. You won’t find Steve Trister there – he’ll be too busy having fun and making people laugh!
If you want to learn how to give a high impact, influential and memorable message every time you speak, take a look here: http://www.performancedynamite.co.uk/
Interestingly, Twitter seems to amplify the habits that people display in other networking arenas. Before I follow someone on Twitter I check out their tweet stream to see if they sound interesting, if they interact with others and have a bit of fun. If they just broadcast endless one-way messages, and especially use repetitive auto tweets I generally don’t follow them. Auto tweeting is like sending a recording to a party and expecting to pull! If networkers displayed their Twitter name on their contact details it would make networking much easier – there’s no where for the boring, self important types to hide!
What do you think? Am I expecting too much? Are we people first and businesses second? What would happen if, instead of asking “What do you do?”, we asked each other “Who are you and what are you interested in?” Are YOU a seductive networker? Tell me below ……