Friday, August 04, 2006

How to Not Get People to Buy

The names have been change to protect the guilty here!

My weekly BNI meeting had just completed. I introduced myself to a visitor to ask for her card. I figured that she might be a good resource for another business friend.

I was wrong.

Here's why.

As soon as she handed me her card, she launched into a directive saying that she had products that could help me. After all, I had a cute haircut and presented myself well, but oh, I just needed help with the skin. Now I must admit that I had a big zit on my cheek, and I do have some wrinkles, but for an old broad closin' in on 60, I don't think I'm doing too badly. It was quite obvious that she had a different opinion.

I will never in a million years purchase products from her and also I will never refer her to my friend.

We have a saying in the networking class that I teach that says, "Move along the relationship scale as quickly and as APPROPRIATELY as possible." This women jumped to where my closest friends might tread lightly. She was inappropriate. She also didn't realize that she was infringing on the territory of a BNI member who does sell skin care products. But you know what? My feeling is that even if she did know it, she wouldn't have cared.

Where do you weigh in on this topic. Did she have the right. Am I being too critical? Have you ever been in the same situation where "for your own good" someone has proceeded to insult you?

9 comments:

leasa said...

I agree. Your new "friend" could have invited you for coffee or a meal to get to know you better -- first -- before trying to blaze that trail to "profitablity" with you: This person was thinking "What's in this for me?" not..."How can I help you?"
P.S. And, in this scenario, if she had the proper mindset to invite you to meet one-on-one, it would have been most appropriate to treat you to that coffee or meal as well.

Sandy of Sandy's Stuff for Women said...

I had an almost identical experience last week! I was a substitute at a BNI chapter that I'd not attended before. The person sitting next to me not only tried to sell me every product she had (during commercials and the 10-minute presentation, no less), but she said she'd love to give me a cute little pixie haircut and some highlights to make me look younger! Why would I ever want to do business with someone like that?

Julie said...

Clearly this visitor was there to get. Whoever invited them needs to fully explain the Givers Gain philosophy of BNI and especially the category rule. I myself have not been in the BNI/WEN circle for very long and I did have a similar situation happen to me early on. I also received what I felt was an insult about my business, but I continue to educate myself about networking and listen to those I respect. People like this visitor will not build customer loyalty, they will only have one time buyer customers, or like Debby, no customer at all. This is the difference between success and setting yourself up for failure.

merri said...

I guess this person has more business than she needs. Or way too little - hmph, wonder why?!

Michelle said...

I certainly don't think you are being overly sensitive. I tend to REALLY run from people like that. I have had too many bad experiences over the years and know better than to even get past their hello, I have for you....

I feel our gut instinct in these situations know best.

Jeff LaCourse said...

I would question the judgement of the member who invited this person as well. Wouldn't most people be embarrassed to bring someone like that and introduce them to people who are so important to their business?

Lisa, imagecom said...

Wonder what would happen, if you'd mirrored her conversational style & explained to her 'how much better she would be if...' - Okay, I wouldn't do it, but wouldn't it be a fun experiment? She might not get it but those around you might enjoy a chuckle and a reinforcing lesson ;-)

Nick at Davis College said...

Don't you, at times, in that situation just want to teach them a lesson! Teaching, often is about modeling and leading by example. What would you teach this person? Certainly, you might feel like dismissing them as someone you wouldn't want to do business with; however, too many times, I've experienced a bonding with people like the person Debby encountered because I've confronted them and challenged them to do things a bit differently. It is way cool when the crass person becomnes a lifetime frend, a referral partner, or the best participant in at your presentation. Don't smack him or her by returning an insult or lashing out in anger; rather, gently lift up a challenge and model the kind of treatment you'd prefer. If it doens't work out, at least you'll feel better about what you did and nothing will be lost anyway.

Sue Greene said...

Your were correct. There is a difference between selling and just plain out rude.