Posts Tagged ‘selling’
In brisk, post-Thatcher Britain, we go to a lot of networking gigs
Post-Thatcher Britain, you may know, is an elbows-out sort-of-place. Everyone is touting their wares like a scene out Dickensian Britain. Do you remember the song “Who will buy?” from Oliver. Well, it is like that. Except, people don’t sing so well.
Wannabe Artful Dodgers
There are wannabe Artful Dodgers at every gig. They are not up to making-off with your wallet and silk handkerchief. But you can see that is why they joined such a convenient crowd!
Fagin will be unhappy
When they get home, they will be in trouble with Fagin, their conscience, who asks them the wrong questions.
- How many business cards did you give out?
- How many business cards did you collect?
- How much free food and drink did you score?
- Did you find someone to give you some work?
They need to get a better conscience and a better Fagin to ask them these questions:
#1 Did they promise at least 5 favors to at least 5 different people?
If there weren’t at least 5 people at the gig who needed something they could do with their littte finger, they are sooo at the wrong gig, or soooo under-qualified to eat and drink with those people
If they were the Artful Dodger, they would pick a neighborhood better suited to their skills, or start to behave like the people in the neighborhood they’d chosen.
Or, they were so obsessed with themselves, they found out nothing about the other people there.
If they were the Artful Dodger, they would start to watch the crowd while Oliver stood in the shadows, singing mournful songs!
#2 Did 5 different people offer them 5 different favors?
Hmm, did they look at a lot of gift-horses in the mouth? Maybe they talk too much and not give the other person even a few seconds to chip in and some assistance?
Oliver got help from all over because he was cute and un-pushy. The Artful Dodger was admired but never got help from anyone.
Had he washed his face, people may have helped him. But then he wouldn’t be the Artful Dodger!
I suppose we really have to decide whether we want to work sooo hard or whether want to let luck find us!
#3 Did the person they help, or the person who took their card, write to say thank you?
Did they just hand out their cards like a free newspaper and walk away? Or did they stay with the conversation to the point that they could offer to do something specific for the other person? Or ask them to do something specific and useful? Did they take the conversation through the stages of forming, storming, norming to performing? Or. did they jump from forming to adjourning?
The Artful Dodger knew the endpoint – to hand his pickings over to Fagin. But he didn’t jump there in one fell swoop. He watched, he followed, he ducked, he dived. He fell into the other person’s rhythm. Then he cleanly picked the other pocket and moved the contents smoothly to his own!
#4 Did they write to thank people who gave them their card?
Did they have anything at all to say to the people with whom they spent an evening? Did they waste more time by sending an automated message when they got home? Or did they talk to people in sufficient depth to remember them and be remembered? Does their note reflect something they ‘did’ together?
The Artful Dodger would remember the people he met -more clearly than they would remember him. He would know exactly how many pockets in each person’s suit, and exactly what is in them!
Which is your next networking event?
Maybe I will see you there! I hope I remember you and you me!
I wonder what we have in common and what we could do for in each other, right there, in the few moments we share together!
The 2nd rule 0f the 10 Sun Tzu rules of the Networked World
Make our messages as small as possible.
Once again, this rule is intimidating at first, but we can be assured that if pundits are telling us to do something, then they already know how to do it. So for an example, have a look at the link to BNET that I posted yesterday morning to a handy resource for Prospect Qualification.
Note well how they have worked out a simple decision tree and each step is small enough to do.
The General Idea
This is not a new idea at all. We often break complex jobs into small steps.
We are not, however, making information chunks small for the sake of it. If we do, we are in danger of disemboding information and rendering it unintelligible.
But feed forward and feedback must come in ‘glanceable’ amounts – like the speedometer on our car. The information must arrive at exactly the point that we need it (not at exactly the point Head Office feels like sending it!)
Our Overall Goal
To think in networked terms, I want to reach everyone one of my fans and I want to reach potential fans – the friends of my friends.
So I have to think like Twitter. Not only do I keep my messages under 140 chars, I allow for the RT and keep them even shorter! After all, they are 5 times more likely to be read when they come from a close friend.
The technicalities are easy, it is the substance that counts.
The technicalities can be learned quickly enough. What is harder to work out is when and where people need information.
And the viral potential of the message
Hairdressers are often very good at txting reminders for appointments.
What we need too are messages that will go to the “end of the line.” What are we likely to retweet because we want other people to know that information too?
My local deli for example, could tweet its specials to customers who have requested tweets. That makes it easy for me to retweet and invite someone to lunch.
Hack for the 2nd rule
For each customer group that we have identified in 1a and judged to be a qualified prospect in 1b, we can ask:
- What information do they need from us to organize themselves with people around them?
- What is their purpose when they use my message?
Isn’t that why we love resources so much? They become a lego block in a project of our own.
Recap of the 2nd rule
So we need to go back to the scenarios for defining our fans in 1a and think again. Do we know what our potential customer is trying to achieve?
When we do, communicating is ever so easy.
(And it is so hard, when we try to jump steps. Find time this weekend to work on your scenarios! You can do them in the shower, in a walk in the woods, while waiting for your daughter to finish ballet class!).