I wanted to share our new flyer with you. Look for this flyer posted on college campuses in the Bay Area. Or post it at yours?
Have sweet dreams everyone and happy Friday!
Historically in business we do things we are told to do. We make power point presentations, we wear suits, we make business cards, we shake hands, we try and make business happen, but a lot of this stuff we all actually hate. Like really hate. So why do we keep doing it?
What I wish the business world would learn, more than anything, is that sometimes the best way to attract business, is to NOT TALK ABOUT BUSINESS.
If a person finds themselves around others they want to do business with, or meet, don’t fall back into legacy communication and information sharing techniques.
For example, if you are at an event, and networking, rather than leading with a business question or comment, take a minute to find out something different about the person you are talking to. Lead with something less….business…ey.
Find out if this person next to you has kids, find out what they love to do for fun, find out their favorite music, their favorite food. I promise you this is a better way to socialize than to have transactional and pushy discussions with people.
This goes for vendors and practitioners. Be human, engage, tell stories, make your audience laugh! If you are speaking involve them in the presentation–make them raise their hands, make them stand up, maybe even get them up and dancing.
People want to have fun, they want to be heard, the want to be educated, they want to be engaged–somehow in the business world we forget these human needs, and we make transactions.
I am so excited about business today–because finally we are living in a time where a lot of cool companies and leaders are not doing this anymore. They are taking chances. They are stepping outside “the box.”
Let’s do something different–like really different. You will be pleasantly surprised by the reactions of your audience–whether that’s a room full of conference goers, a networking dinner or a neighbor at the internet cafe.
This week I am re-reading Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s book Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, And Purpose.
This book makes me really happy when I read it. The Zappos world is a a world where the human spirit is more important than the dollar, where people are interested in making the world–on an impossible level–a better place.
Tony is a really honest writer–and it’s refreshing. The older I get, the more I feel that in the business world–especially the fast-paced social business and technology world–I feel like there is a lot of dishonesty and insincerity.
Networking Needs A Make-Under
I attend a lot of business events–and I used to even produce them. Dozens of them. So I feel that I can confidently understand them–the exchanges that go on.
Here is an excerpt from Tony’s book, actually from Ivanka Trump’s book The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life. Tony contributed a portion called “Owning Your Look, Stepping Away, Fighting Mediocrity, First (and Lasting) Impressions.”
Read his excerpt below (page 81 of Delivering Happiness):
I personally really dislike “business networking” events. At almost every one of these events, it seems like the goal is to walk around and find people to trade business cards with, with the hope of meeting someone who can help you out in business and in exchange you can help that person somehow.
I generally try to avoid those types of events, and I rarely carry any business cards around with me.
Instead, I really prefer to focus on just building relationships and getting to know people as just people, regardless of their position in the business world or even if they’re not from the business world. I believe that there’s something interesting about anyone and everyone–you just have to figure out what that something interesting is. If anything, I’ve found that it’s more interesting to build relationships with people that are NOT in the business world because they almost always can offer unique perspectives and insights, and also because those relationships tend to be more genuine.
If you are able to figure out how to be truly interested in someone you meet, with the goal of building up a friendship instead of trying to get something out of that person, the funny thing is that almost always, something happens later down the line that ends up benefiting either your business or yourself personally.
I don’t really know why this happens or why it works, but it seems that the benefit from getting to know someone on a personal level usually happens 2-3 years after you started working on building the relationship. And it’s usually something that you could not have possibly predicted would have happened at the beginning of the relationship….