Desperation is not referable. When people demonstrate certain behaviors as part of their networking efforts, it’s a tell-tale sign of desperation. Here are four types of behaviors that desperate networkers exhibit:
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This is probably the most common form of desperation that I’ve seen over the years. The Card Dealer is a person that darts around the room passing out cards like they’re at a poker table. They don’t spend time really getting to know anyone (unless they think they can get something from them). To the Card Dealer, networking is mostly a numbers game. The more people they can pass their cards to – the better they’re doing (or so they think). Card Dealers tend to have a network that is a mile wide but an inch deep because they don’t spend time building relationships. It never works in the long-run and they just look inexperienced, frazzled, and yes – desperate.
Here’s the guy that thinks the closer he gets when he’s talking to you, the more you’ll be interested in what he’s saying. Nope. Not true. In fact, it has the opposite effect (especially if his breath has the aroma of a smelly camel). So, what’s the right distance to stand from someone without getting into their personal space? The answer to this question varies based on the cultural standards of the country you are in. In North America, it’s fairly common to have conversations at roughly “arm’s length” for people that you meet at a networking event. From my experience that distance is definitely less in some countries around the world. What’s also interesting is the issue of gender and personal space or “proxemics.” According to a “Journal of Psychology” study, “male-male pairs tend to interact at greater personal distances, whereas female-female pairs tend to interact closer.”
This is the person who confuses networking with direct selling. They meet you and immediately go into sales mode. They want you to do business with them without asking questions about you, your business, your interests, or your needs first. To this person, everyone is a target and every target is a dollar sign. These people are the reason why many individuals don’t like to go to networking events. They go to meetings and feel slimmed by people soliciting them for business. They leave the meeting and run home to get a shower.
Follow-up with the people you meet at a networking event is important. But be a professional – not a stalker. The New Best Friend is the over-eager seller who after you meet at a networking event – calls you, emails you, social media messages you, and tries to become your New Best Friend in the space of just a few days. Generally, they’re not actually trying to help you – they simply want to sell something to you. Granted, they may want to sell something to you because in their mind – it’s only to “help you,” but it’s never really about you. It’s about what they want from you. Desperation seeps from their pores. I’ve experienced this many times over my career. The one that stands out the most in my mind happened a couple years ago. I met a young man (late 20’s) at a networking event and he went right into “New Best Friend” mode – calling several times, emailing every day, messaging me on Facebook etc. But when he wrote me and said that he thought of himself like my son (yes, seriously – he said that) and he needed my help in his business venture – I had to pull the plug. I tried to pull it gently by talking about the importance of establishing credibility before pitching something and that the process of developing credibility takes time. Curiously, my “new son” abandoned me.
Desperation is not referable. Remember these behaviors when you go to networking events and whatever you do – don’t demonstrate these behaviors yourself. Remember that networking is more about farming, than it is about hunting.
Over the years I’ve recognized that there are some people who are positive and supportive individuals that I really want to be around. They are solutions focused relating to most problems and are almost always willing to talk through challenges with a positive end in mind. These people are engines. They help me be my best self and they motivate me to drive forward.
I’ve also noticed, as I’m sure you have, that there are some people who complain as though it were an Olympic event (for the record – it’s not!). They tend to be negative, argumentative, and obsessed with problems. I’ve learned not to spend much time with these people because they focus on all the things that are wrong relating to most challenges. If all someone does is focus on problems – they become an expert on problems and not on the solutions. These people are anchors, they hold me back and weigh me down.
Who do you surround yourself with: engines or anchors?
This is an important question for everyone. It’s particularly important if you are trying to build a powerful personal network of people around you. Is your network full of people who are engines helping you go to the next level in your life or your career? Or, are they anchors weighing you down with the plethora of issues, problems, and complaints? Do they hold you back, or do they drive you forward?
The funny thing here is that no-one thinks they’re an anchor. No one! Of course, they’ll tell you that they are an engine – they just do not like the direction you are going and that’s why they come across the way they do. For the record – they’re an anchor – with a motor attached. My advice is to call for “all hands on deck,” cut loose the anchors in your life, partner up with your fellow engines and go full-speed ahead.
This is where your Doorman comes in. Your Doorman is looking for engines, people helping you go to the next level in your life. Your Doorman should forbid entrance to the anchors, people weighing you down with a plethora of issues, problems, and complaints.
This is just a little of the content from my new book, “Who’s in Your Room? The Secret to Creating Your Best Life.” Check out the book here: https://tinyurl.com/WhosInYourRoom.
If you would like to be in my room, CLICK HERE.
Do you want an invitation?
Become a Book Ambassador for my newest book, “Who’s in Your Room?”
What do you get as a Book Ambassador?
1. Live webinars on elements of the book where you will get the author’s
perspective on how to apply the room concept in your life and in your business.
2. “Ask the Author” webinars where you can ask the authors any question you
would like about the content and how they apply it in their lives.
3. Special downloads from the book website.
4. Special videos just for Book Ambassadors.
5. Materials and content that you can use on your social media regarding ideas
from the book.
6. Opportunities for live 1-2-1 sessions with one of the authors.
This week most of our BNI directors from around the world are traveling to Bangkok to attend the BNI Global Convention. Welcome to Thailand. To those BNI directors and members attending, I am looking forward to meeting you. Therefore, if you have never been to Thailand, here are some tips from Kollakit Thalerngnawachart, the National Director of BNI Thailand that will make your trip to Bangkok more enjoyable!
Thailand is honored and proud to welcome all of our BNI Directors and members to the BNI Global Convention in Bangkok. Thailand has everything to offer for a pleasant trip to this land of smiles.
or pressing your palms together at chest or nose level and bowing your head slightly, is a gesture that you will encounter almost immediately upon arrival in Thailand. It is as common as a handshake. Thai people greet each other with the “Wai”. This salutation is not only used to say “Hello” but can also be used to say “Thank You” or “Apologize” someone.
Your travels to Thailand would not be complete without visiting a few temples. Most temples require that guests dress conservatively by covering the shoulders and knees and removing shoes before entering sacred places.
The spoken and written Thai language is largely incomprehensible to the casual visitor. However, English is widely understood, particularly in Bangkok where it is almost the major commercial language. Furthermore, English and some other European languages are spoken in most hotels, shops, and restaurants in the major tourist destinations.
Centara at Central World.
Our Convention venue is of world-class standard. It is right in the heart of Bangkok, with first class facilities. Therefore, the area has everything to offer from local restaurants to world-class shopping experience where you will sure to enjoy.
In conclusion, welcome to Thailand, the land of Smiles and to the 2018 BNI Global Convention!
Kollakit Thalerngnawachart | National Director, BNI Thailand
Do you love the life that you created? Learn how to live your best life, embrace happiness, and discover how to manage “Who’s in Your Room”.
This video will give you a good overview of what the book is about. Therefore, please watch this video at creating your best life
Live your life to the best by learning how to manage the best room to live in
- is your room to full of people already?
- is your room too loud?
- is your room full of drama?
- is your room boring?
- is your room full of angry people?
- is your room chaotic?
- is your room full of weird people?
Learn how to live your best life, embrace happiness, and discover “Who’s in Your Room”.
This 2 ½ minute video will give you a good overview of what the book is about. Therefore, please watch this video at https://tinyurl.com/CreateYourBestLife
Live Your Life to The Best
Quantity is important, but networking is not so much a numbers game as a people puzzle, one that works by making connections between other people. You need to have a wide set of contacts, but your connections need to go deep. It’s not just who you know, but how well you know them. If you know your connections well enough to be able to call and ask for a favor–and get it–that is a powerful network. Quantity is good, but quality truly is king.
The more people you meet at an event, the more successful your networking efforts are–and that’s simply not the case. Instead, the quality of the connections you form is much more significant than the quantity of connections you make.
Networking is not a numbers game. It’s more like a people puzzle. It’s about building relationships with the close people in your network. That means that it’s about finding ways to interconnect the relationships you have to build a powerful personal network. In order to do that – you actually have to have a fair number of quality relationships in that sea of contacts.
If your network is a mile wide and an inch deep, it will never be successful.
Instead, your network needs to be both wide and – in places, deep. That is, you need to have a wide set of contacts but some of those need to be connections that go deep. Therefore, the quality of your network is just as important, if not more important than the quantity of your network. This doesn’t mean that quantity isn’t important. It is important. The thing is that a small network of quality people limits your success. However, a large network with multiple quality relationships makes for a much more powerful, personal network.
It is a little like your left hand and your right hand. Both are really important. But one is generally stronger, more powerful, and generally used more than the other. You can’t accomplish what you want as easily without both. However, one is the stronger hand. This is similar to the quantity vs. quality argument in networking.
Click here to listen to a personal story about this comparison
I believe that it is NOT, what you know, or who you know – it’s how well you know each other that counts.
Strong relationships take simple “contacts” and turn them into powerful “connections.” It doesn’t really matter if I have an amazing database of people with many phone numbers. What really matters is if I can pick up the phone and ask some of them for a favor and they take my call then are willing to do that favor.
We’ve all heard the advice: “you become the people you hang out with.” This means that you not only need to surround yourself with successful people (however you define success) but that you also need to be continually networking up to raise the bar for yourself over time.
Having run the world’s largest business networking organization for more than three decades, one of the things I’ve learned is that: There’s generally room at the top. It’s the bottom that’s really crowded. So how do you start networking above your weight class to move your way up? Here are nine things I recommend that will help you accomplish that goal.
Hang out where successful people are.
We are all at a different place in our career, so start by assessing where you are and then determine where you can go to “network up.” When I was new in business, that meant joining a local service club like Rotary, Lions, or Kiwanis. Organizations like the Chamber of Commerce and BNI are also excellent ways to start networking up. Later, I added boards of non-profit organizations and charities to my list. Many successful people play in these arenas. What a great way to connect with these people in a professional environment.
If you’re not uncomfortable connecting with someone, then you’re not aiming high enough. I’ve been there. I understand this feeling. However, you need to get past that and go talk to them. Your discomfort may be a sign that this is the exact person you should be talking to.
Don’t sell or pitch to them!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met someone for the first time and they start “selling to me.” I’ve seen the same thing when I’ve been with other business people far more successful than me. Don’t do it! The old adage – “it never hurts to ask, right” is completely wrong when you are networking up with someone for the first time. A lot of people do it – don’t be one of the crowd.
Don’t complain to them.
I know, that sounds obvious, but I’ve been both the victim of it and I’ve seen it. I was with an incredibly successful business man some time ago when he was meeting people in a crowd when someone he just met went on a rant about some problem with the man’s company. He stood out, and was quietly escorted out. You want to be remembered, but not for that.
Acknowledge their work but don’t be a sycophant.
There are plenty of people to flatter them, so don’t “puppy-dog lick them” to death. Successful people are, however, still people, and they appreciate knowing their work makes a difference. I have found that if I share a specific story about how their work or business has really helped someone in some way, they truly appreciate the comment. That way the conversation is not all about me, and at the same time, it acknowledges them for the work they’ve done.
Work within the context.
If at all possible, find a way to connect what is happening at the moment to something interesting in your discussion or setting. For example, I met a well-known international thought leader for the first time at a book signing for speakers at a conference. The problem was that the audience was still at dinner, and no one was at the signing! So I shared a story with him about a book signing I did where the only person who showed up was my mother. She acted like she was a fan and made such a big deal at the signing that people started crowding around my table. It was an incredible embarrassment that turned into a huge success. He laughed so hard that it helped him remember me well enough to invite me to join a professional organization that meets regularly around the world.
Find out what they’re currently interested in.
This is a critical item. If you know they are going to be at an event, do some internet research to find out what they are currently working on, then open up your discussion by asking them to tell you about it. If you haven’t done the research – ask them what they are working on that they are most excited about. Google them to learn more about them.
Add value when you are networking up.
This is the most important item. If you can find a way to add value – you’ll be remembered. For example, the last time I had the opportunity to talk to Richard Branson, I asked him about his latest endeavor at the time – The “B Team” or the Business Team. When I asked him about it, he was pretty excited with the program. I asked him how I could help him with it. I asked if it would be of value if we did a short video interview. He could share the program with my audience. He loved the idea, and we shot the video about the B Team program for my blog.
Don’t assume they remember you next time.
If you meet them or connect with them again, never, ever, assume they remember you. Always help them out by giving them context on how you know each other or met. Really successful people tend to meet hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Giving them context helps them jog their memory. If you meet them in person, give them a reminder of where you met. When I am networking up with an email communication, I’ll send a copy of a photo of the two of us from the event where we met. That always jogs their memory.
Finally, remember that if you’re always the most successful person in the room, you’re hanging out in the wrong rooms. Take these nine suggestions and start “networking up” to the right rooms.
I’m really excited about the upcoming release of my latest book, “Who’s in Your Room?” in December. It is my 23rd book and I believe it will have the biggest impact on people’s lives than any other book I’ve done. This is the public version of the book and is vastly different than the BNI version.
What if you had to live your life in one room? Whoever you want to interact with in life is in that room. There is only one door. It is a one-way door. Whoever is in your room, stays in your room forever. Whoever comes into your room impacts your life directly in many ways. If you knew that this person would be in your room forever, would you have let that person in your room?
We design the room we live in, along with the people who are in it. We can do that consciously, or we can do that by happenchance. The choice is ours. Understanding this idea now, who are we going to let in our room from this point on?
What do you think about the concept of “Who’s in Your Room?” Knowing this concept now – what would you do differently in the future? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
To preorder the book, please use this link:
From my experience, strong referral relationships are a lot like building close personal friendships. It takes time for people to become close enough to receive referrals from their network. Facebook has redefined what a “friend” is, but I’m talking about truly close friendships with people. In a study published in 2018 by the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, it was found that it takes about 50 hours of interaction to move from being an acquaintance to becoming a “casual friend.” It takes a total of 90 hours to be become “real friends,” and a total of 200 hours to become “close friends.” According to the study, “friendship status was examined as a function of hours together, shared activities and everyday talk.”
So, how long does it take for people to build a close relationship where they trust you enough to give you regular referrals?
So, you want referrals and you want them now? Well, you can’t have them. Unless you’ve built meaningful relationships with your referral partners first. Well, it takes somewhere between 90 and 200 hours for people to receive referrals from their network.
I know that 90 – 200 hours sounds like a lot but that matches up almost perfectly with what I’ve seen in BNI. When BNI members hit the 90-hour mark of participation they almost always begin receiving more and more referrals. Based on an independent study published in 2012 for BNI, when those same individuals cross the 200-hour mark, they generate an average of over five times the number of referrals they did in their first year! Yes, you read that right: more than 500% more referrals when they have built strong friendships with their referral partners.
The Steps You Should Take If You Want to Build Business Off Referrals
Ask yourself the following four questions until you have attained success and the answers become obvious.
2. Am I regularly making stimulating, educational presentations to my fellow networkers about the value I provide to my clients?
3. Am I doing business with others in my network so I can give them dynamic testimonials and steer business to them in hopes they will return the favor?
4. Am I meeting regularly with my networking colleagues to learn about their businesses so I can confidently refer my contacts to them?
If you’re following these simple tactics, then you are well along the road to getting all the referrals from others’ networks that you deserve. Building a referral-based business is all about building a powerful, personal network. If your network is a mile wide and an inch deep, you will never get the kind of referrals that will make a difference for your business. This means that you have to go deep in building a number of strong relationships.
The best way to speed up the process is to actually spend time in the process of developing relationships with the people you are networking with. Networking truly is more about farming than it is about hunting. It is about building relationships and friendships with other business professionals. Remember, it takes time to build friendships.
While attending the 2018 BNI Poland Conference, I met Paweł Jach, Executive Director at BNI Poland. He was the Master of Ceremony of the conference. He told a story today that I absolutely love. It was about how Navy Seals are selected based upon having a spark in their eyes.
Please watch this video.
A spark in their eyes
The one thing that was consistent in those men selected was their commitment and having that spark in their eyes. Business people who are successful also have that spark in their eyes. Therefore, what does it mean to have a sparkle in your eye? It’s an expression made up of many things. It happens when someone is excited by someone, happy being with them, at what they say, at how they look back at them. Perhaps their eyes open a little wider, to catch more light. Whatever it is, you know it when you see it, and it probably makes your eyes sparkle, too.