Today is the 3rd April 2018. It is the Easter period and also the Passover week when Jews, such as I, commemorate our forefathers leaving slavery in Egypt to be led out by Moses through the Red Sea on a forty-year schlep through the desert to the Promised Land of Israel with a stopover to collect the Ten Commandments from God.
There is obviously a lot more, but this blog is about business networking not about religion.
This past week there has been a lot in the news about anti- Semitism which I find annoying and the height of ignorance and intolerance. I detest racism in all its forms. I also find it a bit of a mystery. I recall sitting in Synagogue one day looking around me at the various congregants and thinking what is there not to like.
Most are warm and hospitable, absorbed in their families, enjoy their traditions and are charitable to all causes. The famous writer Beatrix Potter was tasked to look into the Jews arriving in the East End of London at the beginning of the last century and reported that there was little crime, lots of hard work except on the sabbath and no prostitution. The people were however very into gambling and I think that is why many have made good because they are risk takers.
This morning I attended a business meeting with a man who was knighted for his work in the greater community in which we reside, and he and I have several community projects in common. Basically, he made the plans and I saw his visions to fruition. I am an organised person who uses his extensive network to complete deals.
Following the meeting I decided to travel to North Manchester and purchase another box of Matza. These are the unleavened crackers that we substitute for bread during the week of Passover and wreck your daily ablutions.
I came to a shop called ‘Kosher Savers’ which sounded pretty good. They have a wedding sized marque in the carpark full of Passover approved fayre a mind-blowing array of goodies.
The customers are religious men in fur hats worn for special Jewish holidays and on the sabbath. All are on the phone to their bosses (wives) as what is on their shopping list is sold out and they require consent to substitute. This could screw up the misses menu. And lady customers are either pushing prams full of kids or trying to shepherd the brood away from the sweets and herd them into a recently fumigated Previa.
What does all this have to do with networking?? It has to do with trust. These people are a disparate group all shopping in a store that they trust. They are price conscience so the name ‘Savers’ works and the word ‘Kosher’ is good because they would never purchase any item without the correct label.
In your work you must build trust. Provide properly labelled goods at a reasonable price.
Quality add price equals trust. And if your product or service is wrong put your face straight and deal with it even if it costs you in the short term.
One of your prime tasks is to keep in touch with your network.
Have a look at this video to see how many of my network were honoured by Her Majesty the Queen in the New Years Honours 2017. This was not the record I almost alway get one person, the prize was four.
Imagine that you are a very attractive and eligible thirty something successful lady out on her first date with a man that she has met on a dating app.
Her dinner date spends the entire evening talking about himself, his job, previous relationships, his achievements, where he has travelled, his car and so on, it’s all about him. He hardly stops for breath and fails to interact with the lady.
The food was great and the wine (which, of course, he chose) was very drinkable. They agree to speak on the phone in a couple of days and he calls her as agreed.
During the ensueing conversation she says that she can remember six elements of what he told her about himself and he agrees that what she relates was very accurate. She was very attentive.
Now she asks him to tell her six things that he learned about her. He is dumbstruck and cannot recall any detail whatsoever.
If you were her how would you feel? would you be insulted? did he flatter you and make you feel special in any way? No, you do not want to meet him again, he was too self-consumed.
Imagine this scenario into a business context, and if you were the talkative man interacting with a colleague or client they would be equally as insulted.
Be interested rather than interesting. The person that you are talking to is king of the moment and deserves all your attention. Listen carefully, don’t think about the next question nor look over his shoulder. Keep your phone off and ask pointed considered questions.
Dale Carnegie recalls in his book ‘How to win friends and influence people’ sitting next to a lady who spent the entire dinner talking about herself. At the end of the evening she complimented him on being such an entertaining conversationalist.
I am very lucky to have a Chinese business partner, a very clever lady half my age. In meetings, she remains completely immersed in the conversation around the room taking note of the main points.
She asks well considered and pointed questions and obtains great clarity as the others in the room are her priority.
She remains interested rather than interesting and she remains very successful in her sphere of mergers and acquisitions.
You must learn to become a great listener and to ask questions, your time will come when you can capitalise on what you have learned.
Let me know if you have had a similar situation and been bored by some self consumed person.
Have a good look at my promotional video and learn some of the value that I can add to you and your networking prowess.
It is essential that you know what your best friends think about you in order that you can realise what your brand is and how you need to tweak it.
This video is inspired by a book that I am reading by Tim Ferris where he writes about serious time management issues and how to work much more effectively.
I am not sure that I agree with him completely and I would welcome your comments.
The white new snow looks great but as soon as you disturb it you can never reinstate its beauty. The same is true of our first meeting when we meet someone new.
Take a look at this short video and leave a helpful comment.
Have a look at this video which I found very thought provoking:
Holidays are a great networking opportunity. Don’t miss out. Have a look at this video as it compliments the course and workshops.
There was a very famous footballer called Sir Stanley Matthews who was an English footballing legend. He played for Blackpool, scoring the winning goal in the FA Cup final of 1953 in the final that became known as ‘The Stanley Matthews Final’
Later in his formidable career he played for Stoke City and was a sporting super hero.
Another super hero, me, was travelling on the train from London Euston to Manchester many years ago when Sir Stanley sat opposite me on his way back to Stoke, where he lived and where the train stopped.
Being the shy young man that I was in those days I could not for the life of me think of how to start a conversation and so the journey passed, in typical English train travelling style, without me saying a word to my footballing hero.
Such a waste of an opportunity that would obviously never repeat. Sir Stanley, sensing my predicament was polite enough to say good bye when he was leaving the train at Stoke. Which I think on reflection made me feel worse.
You may have been to my networking workshop where we have played the ‘Lady Gaga’ game. The scene is that a shy young person who is a lady Gaga super fan gets to sit opposite her in a coffee shop and has to begin a conversation as this will be his one and only chance.
This is a demonstration of how to begin a networking chat and break the ice.
My friend, Edmund, with whom I enjoyed a coffee yesterday, was telling me proudly about his very successful businessman son who has been in Chicago on a whistle stop business trip.
Whilst on the way home, flying first class, who was he sat next to but non-other that our former British Prime Minister, David Cameron. I had to ask Edmund what did they discuss, was Cameron interested in your sons export sales, could he connect your son to some of his, well placed mates. What was Cameron doing in the US? Was he on a speaking tour, selling his book, seeing friends, maybe Barak Obama. So much to learn from a former PM and he is captive on a plane. Amazing opportunity to network and connect.
Guess what, the super successful son who, according to his father is very rich, did not have the confidence to start a conversation.
Now, the opportunity I missed was way back when I was about twenty years old. But not now.
Have you ever missed a golden opportunity to give your ‘elevator pitch’?? let me know in the comments section below.
Have you started the ‘Man in Red Glasses Course’? if not you need to, as after taking the course you will not let that kind of opportunity pass you bye.