Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"It would be impossible for me to help her."

Different people need different things.

At the end of most every conversation when I am networking, I mean to ask the question, "And how can I help you?"

Some people get that deer in the headlights look. It's probably because they've probably never thought about what they really wanted.

If you don't know what you want, I promise you that you won't get it.

Or mayb
e you'll get it but you won't realize it!

Or even worse, you get something you don't want!

In the last couple days, the answers I've gotten are as varied as the people I've chatted with.

One wanted me to explore a relationship with another entity for him.

One wanted me to help her to figure out what she really wants and NEEDS for her business.

One wanted me to help her to figure out if she should accept a board position.
One wanted me to help her to write a nomination.

One wanted me to introduce her to a helpful resource.

One wanted me to help her to more clearly see the future for her organization.

One wanted me to clarify an opportunity.

As you can see, none of the above needed a referral or prospect at the moment I talked with them. Sometimes we get brain-locked thinking that the only way we can help is to give direct business. And yes, bottom-line, that's what we all need, but there are plenty of steps in-between that can inch us closer that that new client.

What are all the different ways you have helped people?

Even more telling is what do you need this week?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mouthwash Needed?

Not too long ago I helped someone indirectly. Without much effort on my part, I steered a nice piece of business to this person and also at the same time eliminated the chance for competition. I really didn't think much about it. It was the right thing to do.

The person I helped is someone that I had always wanted as a referral partner, someone that would send referrals my way and also had the ability to do so.

But it had never happened.

I had helped this person before but always thinking that I should get something in return.

Isn't it serendipity that the first time I sent assistance without thinking of getting anything that this person now wants to help me.

Do you think I had commission breath before?????

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Louise, Chapter 2

A few years ago I heard a new phrase at a conference I attended. Ivan Misner used it in a presentation. It is reticular activation. One meaning is that once you become aware (and see) something, then you see it all the time. For instance, because I love driving my little yellow Mini, I see other Mini's on the road quite frequently, even though we don't have a dealer in the area. Other drivers probably don't notice those little "roller skates" as one friend calls my car.

But I digress.

As you may have read, I recently sat and chatted with Louise Mikesell-Wireman. You can read about it here.

Yesterday, I went to the monthly Social Media Networking Breakfast. Even before attending the event, I had connected with Patrick Giammarco through Linkedin. I wanted to be sure to meet him in person as he was attending, too. As soon as I got there I saw him and I made my way across to room to him. Another man was standing there and Patrick introduced David Pett to me. David is on the job quest and he is also an artist.

But I digress!

In my chat with David Pett, he mentioned that his wife is about ready to launch a line of cookies. Louise was also at the breakfast yesterday. So that's when the old reticular activation kicked in. You can bet that I introduced David to Louise. He had no idea that such help was out there for his wife. Taking her cookies to market will be a lot easier and mistake-free because of serendipity.

I love networking when I am able to help so many people as a result of just keeping my eyes and ears open.

Who have you been able to help recently?

Thursday, June 04, 2009

You Do That Too?

Curiosity is a good thing!

Several weeks ago I invited Louise Mikesell-Wireman to visit my BNI chapter. She works for the Center for Innovative Food Technology in Toledo. I had thought of it as an business incubator that helped people who wanted to create and move a food product to the point where it could be sold to the public.

Well, it is that and MORE!

And so is Louise.

This is what's so interesting. I have been in the same room with Louise many times at a WEN meeting, but we had never ended up close enough to each other to chat. Because of that, I had a one-sided view of the food center.

Along with my limited knowledge of it, I also had a very narrow (a wrong) scope on Louise. She is funny, creative, smart and should be writing a book!
Now, I have no desire to be in the food world, except to eat (and hopefully a little less of it!) so I figured there was no way we would be able to connect or that I might be able to provide help.


Just in passing, near the end of our rollicking conversation (ask Louise about the farmers at the farmers' markets, if you get a chance) she mentioned that one thing that she wants to participate in is something called Epicure Magazine. From what I can tell, it is an upscale media publication that is customized to each region where it is published. Louise needs to raise sponsorship money in order to make this happen. If you want to help, connect with Louise at the center.

Also, as a result of this conversation, I may be able to help another business friend get his food in the door of a company that is a client of Louise's. Just by chance he had asked for an introduction to that company the week before.

While I am big into focused networking, I do like to leave the door open to a little fun and a little serendipity.

What is the most interesting connection you've made this year?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

I'm Sure You Don't Really Mean That!

About a week ago I presented to a group that wanted to learn some basics of networking. I shared that there would be three types of people they would meet at a networking event; prospects, those who could refer and others or social contacts. I said that the goal was to schedule an appointment with any of the first two types and to "move on" from the third.

After my talk, a lady came up and said that she had to take acception with what I said. She said that she was in the category of being able to refer. That is her job -- to help others find resources -- and that she didn't appreciate people coming up to her at networking events with that in mind.


As she walked away, I thought to myself, "Why in the world does she bother?"

Have you run into anyone like that lately? What would your answer have been to her?