This is a brief reminder really today, that if you are using networking to build your connections and business. Then be really careful what you say to who. The thing is that you never know who knows who. I remember being at a training session up north with my previous company. When someone used another person as an example of what “not to do.” They used the example of their neighbour. Their comments were quite derogatory and it turned out the neighbour was a sister of someone in the room. Doh!! This was used for years to remind people of confidentiality and not using names etc. And it is much the same when building relationships in business. You just don’t know who knows who.
Networking is great if you are being open, honest, fair and genuine, because good news can spread fast through a close network. But you see bad news travels faster. I was recently at a networking event, when I was listening to a chap, do his 60 seconds and thought he seemed quite genuine. Then someone I know like and trust said ” he never answers his calls, we waited 2 weeks and he never bothered” I am experienced enough to give people another chance. The following week though he said ” he was not coping with the demand of work he had now” These pieces of information are then collected to make a first impression. I would have to spend a lot more time with this person before I could 100% recommend him to a client I valued. (which I probably will if chance puts us in the room together but as I look to support clients with an intention of good relationships he is not in the top running right now to make a lot of effort to build relationships, however he probably needs my help to listen more effectively, focus and to become more efficient so may be I will keep in touch)
Another experience I had recently was when I had met with a potential business partner. Someone I wanted to have a better understanding of his business, as I suspected many of my clients would also need my his service. However he was honest with us and said that he would not recommend the Excel sheets that Mark and I produce but could see value in our service to facilitate people’s thinking when planning a flow chart for other CRM systems. I was quite happy with the conclusion of this meeting. I therefore recommended him to one of our clients that had purchased one of our programmed bespoke excel sheets to automate and streamline her systems. I had also told him about this client.
Their paths crossed at a networking event which is how all this networking works. I would have been chuffed to bits at this point that they were now doing business. However sadly he failed to listen to her or us. He started to show her some systems he thought he could have provided for free. How awful knowing someone has already spent £1000’s on a system to make them feel stupid for their decision by saying this is free. And of course does not do much for building relationships with us. ( just for the record we are very lucky to have spent the time building a great relationship with this client, as we do with all of our clients. Our client did come back and discuss this with us, plus she had the confidence to challenge whether the FREE system really did offer her the bespoke extras she wanted) The answer by the way is no. But my point is that she did not need to buy a system so why try to sell her one. If he had listened to her and us then he would have a better relationship with us both at this point.
Do you think I will send my clients to this person again?……….well the jury is out on that for the moment. It could be beginners nerves, desperate for a sale and wanting to impress or he could have, what I would deem poor business ethics. I will have to be sure though before I recommend another client of mine. Which is a shame as I know a few at the moment.
It reminds me of a similar experience when I bought my last kitchen. I was browsing in another kitchen shop for work tops. The salesmen approached me and after a short conversation I advised him that I got my kitchen somewhere else. He asked lots of questions where and how much, and then promptly advised me that I would have bought doors that were inferior. He never once asked me what I wanted.
Do you think I bought my work tops from him. I don’t think so. I had spent £3000 of our hard-earned money to buy this kitchen and he was telling me I was stupid I had been ripped off. Not exactly relationship building stuff eh!!
Remember to increase sales you have to listen not talk. Make it easy for them to buy what they are looking for not tell them what they have already bought is useless. Doh!!
Thanks for listening please do share your experiences.