Posts from — June 2009
I get asked quite a bit to give free talks. The request always comes with the comment that it will be “a great marketing opportunity.” Networking on steroids I suppose.
But I do believe that those of us who have been lucky enough to have a nice life should give back, so, I try and do some of these talks if they’re not too inconvenient.
Just this last Friday I gave a breakfast talk for the Greater Philadelphia Senior Executive Group. (that’s senior as in Presidents and such) Unfortunately when I agreed to fill in for someone who dropped out, I forgot to ask where it was. Yup, way far away.
So I left my house at 5:30…in the morning…to be there and get ready for a 7:30 start. All the while I’m thinking that I really am a moron for doing this.
But I get there and am my usual energetic, humorous, and sparkly self. Since I do these talks in an extremely interactive way off the top of my head, it’s important to have an engaged group.
And this group was engaged! I had a great time, came up with a few new ideas, received a few questions I hadn’t heard before, heard a few new stories, and got a free breakfast…real breakfast, not that coffee and bagel thing.
And then, when it was over, it happened. One of the participants had come to something I had done a few months ago and brought her salesperson. She stood up and told the group that I had changed the life of the salesperson who now quoted me extensively and had greatly improved her confidence and results. I was ecstatic.
And then this distinguished fellow tells me that he has attended 500 networking type talks and programs and events over the last 10 years and this was by far the best. How cool is this? I was even more ecstatic at this point.
Now you probably think this is the Get Back part of the title. Of course, it is, but even more along the Get Back idea is that I have been approached by people who were there who actually want to pay me to visit their companies and organizations. Real money!
What a great way to network and develop new relationships. Give your time to worthy causes. Volunteer. Show people what you can do. Just meet people as you do good things. You don’t have to ask for anything because…they’ll see what you can do and ask you first.
And most importantly, you help others. Together we really can improve the world.
June 29, 2009 No Comments
One of the things I’ve notice over the years is how hard it is for many people to say they screwed up. And I’ve also notice how much other people appreciate it when you admit your mistakes. Seems to go a long way towards strengthen the connection…or severing it depending on which you do.
In The Conversation On Networking Newsletter we once wrote about a huge failure we had selling a major national project. It got a tremendous amount of response from readers, most saying how glad they were to see someone admitting they weren’t perfect.
You know where this is going. Yup, I screwed up in the last posting. My brother Ken Smolinsky actually took that wonderful picture of me in Bryce Canyon and I told him I would give him a nice credit for it. Oooops. So I’ve posted another one of his pictures from that same day below and think you should all go and visit his cool website for action figures at www.goodstufftogo.net
And all you readers at fault for something, fess up.
You know who you are……and so do we.
June 26, 2009 1 Comment
Seems I’ve managed to make it to three postings…quite amazing. And people are signing up expecting I’ll keep at it and be humorous and educational and entertaining and deliver useful information…each and every posting. The pressure is mounting.
Luckily, interesting networking things happen all the time. For instance, did you notice that I got two comments that were great networking tips? Of course they need a little of my special sauce to cook into something fun and engaging so….
Shaun wrote “congratulations on a job well done.” Ooops, that’s not the tip. The tip was hidden in his comment about not talking in the middle of a golfer’s backswing. While he was writing about breaking a golfer’s concentration his thought really generalizes into a big mistake people (not you, other people) make all the time: they interrupt while people are thinking!
People think and process information in different ways and at different speeds. And you need to give them the time they need before rushing on to your next comment. That silence you hear is them thinking it through, gathering their thoughts, ruminating on you and your ideas.
And if you want to connect with people and develop those nice, deep, long lasting relationships that lead to all kinds of good things…let them think. Show respect, show interest, show understanding. Treasure silence.
So I have an easy exercise for you. But you have to actually do it to learn anything. So Do It!
Exercise: Watch people carefully when you’re talking to them. When their eyes unfocus, when they stare at the ceiling, when they go inside…stop talking until they come back. That’s it. But there are two really difficult parts to this exercise: 1. you really have to pay attention to the other person 2. you really have to learn to keep your mouth shut and treasure silence.
Now practice this exercise and notice what a difference it makes in how people respond to you. And send in a comment about your experiences. And let them finish that thought.
Thinking Tip: thinking interruptus leads to networking destructus
June 22, 2009 2 Comments
To my great amazement, this blog thing worked. People actually read it and two posted comments. (well, one is my father and the other a partner in the folks who manage The Website and all, but still….) So far no yelling.
Speaking of yelling, I was with some people the other day and one of them was just so loud it made my ears hurt. And then a couple of the other people that were there asked me if it was them or was this person really loud. The conversation was nice and smooth, and then this huge rise in volume took place and pushed us back, and then it returned to nice and smooth. It was just like….when the commercial comes on and we all adjust the volume down until the show returns. Or leave the room.
Got me thinking about how many people drive others away rather than invite them in close due to not being aware of the volume, tone, and pitch of their voices.
So here’s a little something you can try to see if you’re inviting them in or driving them away with the sound of your voice: pay attention to your voice and vary it. Notice which volumes, tones, and pitches have what effects. And particularly notice how when you speak softly everyone leans in closer. Now isn’t that nice?
June 18, 2009 3 Comments
Yup, I’ve listened. Many of you who receive The Newsletter or have wandered into a Show have told me that it would be fun to yell back at me. So start yelling.
I notice lots of things…both bad and good…as I wander around speaking and consulting and walking around the streets. So I figure I’ll have quite a few things to share that will help you improve your networking skills…and maybe get you a free dessert every now and then. Why just this past weekend I was in Cedar City Utah and happened to visit Milt’s Stage Stop which is half way up the mountain on the way to Brian Head. I was having a good time chatting with the waitress who was quite the funny lady. One thing led to another and for some odd reason she mentions she lived in Bisbee Arizona for a while some years ago.
Since I was the first person in quite awhile who actually knew where Bisbee is, we shared some Bisbee stories. Next thing you know, there was that free dessert. The power of positive conversation and just being friendly to everyone you meet. Now if only she was looking for a date……
Thought you might like to see me working away looking for great networking stories to share with you:
June 15, 2009 3 Comments