Faux Pas Archives - Page 2 of 2 - Dr. Ivan Misner®

Networking Video: “The People in the Room”–Comic Relief with a Powerful Message

Last Thursday I posted a blog in which I explain why confusing networking with direct selling is one of the worst faux pas you can make while networking as it completely undermines any chance you have of being a successful networker.  The fact remains that if your idea of networking is walking around, shaking hands, and closing deals, you are not going to achieve real results or significant business growth from your efforts.

Today, I’d like to share a fantastic new video with you which not only drives home the points I made in last Thursday’s blog but does so in a highly creative, comical, entertaining, and extremely memorable way.  The video is called “The People in the Room” and it is created and produced by Lawrence Conyers of Anson Corporate Media.  Lawrence is a master networker based in the UK who has done several other stellar networking videos in the past.

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Watch the video now to find out what happens to a confused networker who thinks the best way to network is to work the room at lightning speed, focused only on giving people his card and asking them to give him a call so they can do business.  After watching the video, you will very clearly see the difference between real networking and trying to meet as many people as possible in order to sell them on your products and services before you even get a chance to learn their name.  You’ll also never be able to forget the importance of remembering to think not only about the people in the room with you at networking events but also about the people they know who may not be in the room.

I think Lawrence absolutely knocked it out of the park with this video–I love it!  What do you think?  Please share your feedback about the video in the comment forum below.

 

 

Networking Faux Pas: Confusing Networking with Direct Selling

In this third installment of the Networking Faux Pas Series, I discuss the danger of confusing networking with direct selling–it is often this specific point of confusion which really causes networking to go all wrong.

If your idea of networking is walking around, shaking hands, and closing deals, you owe it to yourself to watch this quick video explaining what networking is really all about and how to make sure you’re not going about it the wrong way.

If you’ve had experiences with people trying to immediately sell you on their product or service at a networking event, please tell us about it in the comment forum below.  Where were you and what happened?  What was your reaction to the person who was trying to close a deal with you before putting in any effort to get to know you? . . .

Networking Faux Pas Series: Premature Solicitation

In this second installment of the Networking Faux Pas Series, I talk about Premature Solicitation (a term you certainly don’t want to attempt to say three times fast as it very well may get you into a little bit of trouble . . .)–a classic example of how NOT to network.

I share a personal story of an occurrence where somebody tried to prematurely solicit me and I explain how I handled it–suffice it to say, that “somebody” will not get a second chance to make a first good impression.

As I mention at the end of the video, I highly encourage you to share your stories about premature solicitation and other networking faux pas in the comment forum below–I know I for one would love to hear about your experiences (what can I say . . . I always love a good story!) and I’m sure the rest of the BusinessNetworking.com community would love to as well.  Thanks!

Networking Faux Pas Video Series: Abusing the Relationship

This is the first post of a series of video blogs I’ll be doing on networking faux pas.  The faux pas I talk about in this video is what I call “abusing the relationship.”  I tell the story of a woman who used her relationship with another networker in a way that was very wrong and even somewhat deceptive.

Over the next couple of months, I’m going to do videos from time to time on some of the most egregious faux pas I’ve seen over the years when it comes to networking.

I’d love to hear your reaction to this first faux pas–how would you handle it if someone from your networking group invited you into a similar situation?  Would you feel comfortable referring them to others in your network in the future after the incident?   Please share your thoughts in the comment forum below. Thanks!

 

 

 

 

Unsolicited Advice is Rarely Appreciated

I recently received an unsolicited e-mail message from a man named Chris.  The message stated:

I watched the “video for International Networking Week and… I found it personally offensive and amateurish.  I just thought you would like some feedback.  Consider that when you make your presentation on the Today Show [next week].”

OK, so I should begin by saying – I don’t know Chris.  I’ve never met him and have never talked to him.  Why he would feel compelled to send me such a ‘pleasant’ communication, I can’t fathom.

However, I am thankful to Chris.  I’m thankful because his e-mail message gives me an opportunity to talk a little bit about relationship networking.

Every time you communicate with someone (especially the first time) it is a chance to construct or deconstruct a relationship. This is the first time I’ve ever heard from Chris.  I’d have to say that “first contact” wasn’t very constructive.

I’m not sure what possesses people to send unsolicited criticism to someone they don’t know.  But it seems to be happening more and more in this digital world.  I can’t imagine that Chris would have the chutzpa to say this to someone if he were face-to-face with them.  However, the digital world is ripe with cyber critics who can say what they want and feel more removed from the situation via the internet (it’s possible that being outside striking distance may have something to do with that).

I went back and looked at the “offending” video.  Since Chris didn’t specify what “offended” him, I have no idea what was said that was so offensive to him.  As for “amateurish,” well, I understand that opinions are like noses, everyone has one (that’s the G-Rated version of this saying).  Despite knowing the opinion thing, I thought I should look at the video again closely.  It was shot by a professional videographer.  It had multiple camera angles, professional lighting, and even makeup (maybe that was offensive to Chris?).  I’ve had people say that this video was a bit “artsy” with the cutaways being a little distracting.  Some people didn’t like the switching between black & white and color.  At least those comments were specific and constructive.   But, amateurish – really?  I thought maybe this guy had some amazing website that would put my video to shame so I checked it out.  Ahh, rather than go to the dark side, let’s just say I wouldn’t refer him based on his website.

Here’s the bottom line:  if you want to succeed in life, make your own business better and be sparing in the way you criticize others.

I know, I know, some people just can’t help themselves.  So, if you just can’t hold back and you feel compelled to vent on some other poor unsuspecting soul, consider these four things before you press “send” on your nasty-gram:

  1. Is your criticism unsolicited?  Unsolicited advice (especially from people you don’t know – is rarely appreciated).
  2. Do you know the person to whom you’re sending the criticism?  If not, why are you really sending it (other than to get something off YOUR chest and put it onto their shoulders)?
  3. Whether you know them or not – is your intention to give ‘constructive’ suggestions (otherwise known as meaningful, specific, positive ideas) or just to vent?  If it’s to vent – tell a friend who loves you instead and leave the person you don’t know alone.
  4. If you send this communication – will it help construct a relationship or deconstruct a relationship?  If it’s the latter – remember Mom’s advice: if you don’t have anything good to say, say nothing at all!

No one has ever built a statue to a critic.  It’s easy to tell other people what they are doing wrong.  It’s hard to do the right thing yourself.

Have you ever had this type of experience?  If so, what did you do?  What would you add to my list above?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this matter.

 

Can Cultural Differences be Affecting Your Networking Success?

 

A few weeks ago, I spoke at an event in Israel and while I was there, I got to talking to my good friend Sam Schwartz about the very different networking styles and tendencies which occur from country to country.

It is very important to consider and respect cultural differences when networking and doing business in different countries across the globe and, in this short video, Sam and I discuss why it is important and how you can prepare yourself in order to achieve great networking results no matter where in the world you may be.

After watching the video, please share your own stories in the comments section about the differences in business and networking styles and tendencies you’ve observed when networking in various countries around the world.  Also, be sure to visit the following website which is a fantastic educational resource in regard to cultural differences: www.ExecutivePlanet.com.

The Power of a Rolodex–What’s Your Story?

Hazel Walker (pictured below) is not only one of my Business Networking and Sex co-authors and one of my business partners in both BNI and the Referral Institute, she is also the author of the great article below about the importance of remembering that you never know who might be in someone’s Rolodex. As Hazel explains, assuming for any reason that somebody couldn’t possibly know anyone that might be able to help you in your business is wrong and it does you a great disservice.

I’ve heard some amazing stories about hugely valuable, highly legitimate referrals that came from people whom others had initially discounted as unlikely to know anyone that could help them.  I absolutely love hearing these stories because they’re amazing testaments to the power of networking.  What’s YOUR story??  If you have one, by all means, share it in the comments section after reading Hazel’s article below! 🙂

“Power of a Rolodex” by Hazel Walker

One of  the biggest challenges I have with business people is they underestimate the power of other people’s Rolodex.  It’s close-minded.  I hear this especially from the Business-to-Business people who walk into a networking group, look around and think, “I’m B2B (business to business) and high dollar and there’s nobody here who can help me!”  And they walk out.  What they have just done is discount everyone’s Rolodex.

They don’t know who I’m sitting with at PTA, or playing golf with.  They don’t know who my brother-in-law, my mother-in-law, or my friends are.  I see that happen more than anything when people discount who other people know.  It’s the same when they only get to know one side of the relationship.  They get to know the husband and everything about him, but have they asked where the wife works and who’s in her network?

There’s a tendency to just look at the person, a Mary Kay lady for example, and say “Yeah, she sells Mary Kay, she can’t help me.”  I had a banker in one of my networking chapters, a good member of the chapter who’s been in the group for a long time.  I sent a Mary Kay person to his chapter.  He called me up and was not happy.  He said, “I don’t know why you would send a Mary Kay person, we are doing business-to-business, Mary Kay is just not going to help us, blah, blah, blah . . .”  So I asked that he just give her a shot, you never know who she knows, and that he let her be in the chapter.

They let her in.  Shortly afterward, the banker sent me flowers thanking me for sending the Mary Kay associate who, in her first three months there, referred over $400,000 (USD) in business to him!  This was after he had discounted her based on the company she works for.  I think that is the biggest mistake business  people make: not getting to know people well enough to find out who they know.



No Faux Pas in India!

I’m headed to India this week to speak for BNI in Mumbai and Bangalore.  I look forward to meeting many people and having the chance to help them increase their business through referrals.

I’ve traveled to dozens of countries to speak and teach my philosophy of Givers Gain® in business. However, this is my first time to visit this exotic country. I’ve discovered that it is very important to get “briefed” by others before speaking around the world. I learned the hard way in one country during a public presentation that mentioning a woman’s “pants” actually indicates that you are speaking about her “underwear.” A story that talks about a woman’s pants, no matter how funny it is, doesn’t quite achieve the effect it’s supposed to when it’s told by a man and “pants”  means “underwear.”

Another thing I’ve learned is that using a specific phrase about tree roots in Australia or New Zealand can actually mean that you are talking about having sex. Who would have thought?! When I unknowingly used the phrase (in reference to tree roots–not sex) in the title of an article I wrote, folks in New Zealand and Australia began calling and e-mailing in handfuls to let me know of my blunder. On behalf of Americans everywhere who’ve used this phrase when speaking or writing to Australians and New Zealanders, I’d like to apologize.

In Sweden, there’s no expression for “word of mouth.” There, it is translated as “mouth to mouth.” Takes your mind in a whole different direction, doesn’t it?

And then there are hand gestures . . . don’t even get me started on talking about hand gestures! Suffice it to say, I’ve almost caused several international incidents by accidentally making the “wrong” hand gesture in some countries.

I’ll post a blog or two about my visit to India soon. But, before I go, help me out here would you please? Is there anything I should know about speaking in India? I’d really like to head back to the U.S. knowing for sure that the citizens of India are talking about something positive in regard to me . . . something other than me causing a public scene for saying or doing the wrong thing. 🙂

Wish me luck and, please, drop me a note here if you have any helpful information. Thanks!

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