Friday, September 07, 2012

Be There, Be Square!

More times than not I like to be there when I introduce two people.  Why?  Lot's of reasons!

1.  I usually learn something new about both even if they have been my friends for a long time.

2.  I can help to control the conversation.  It's easier for me to finesse the chat toward the reason for the intro than it is for either of the two to steer it.

3.  If there is something that "goes wrong" during the conversation, I can be aware of it and either attempt to fix or at least share my observations.

4.  It's helpful to have a third pair of eyes watching for body language.

5.  I can ask a pointed question without seeming like I am selling.  I'm just an interested third party!

6.  I may see an alternative for either or both parties, that neither of them would think of alone.  Again, because I am a silent observer, it gives me time to think.

7.  As the "organizer" of the introduction, I can act as the host, getting the conversation started, eliminating that awkward time of who should talk first!

What other reasons can you think of for being at the introduction of two people?

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

MINI change?????

So most of you know that I drive a MINI and in fact, I'm now on my second one, having compiled 190,000 miles on my cute little yellow '03, I now have a new, Laguna Green '12.  I love my car because of the way it drives and also the playful attitude of the whole company.  It's the "we do things and think differently" from the rest of the world.

When I picked up my new baby in March, my sales person, Brad Paris, told me to get the first oil change at 9,000 miles.  The dealership is a little over two hours away so I have to plan for something like this.  The middle of the September I am going to be in that area because we are going to our granddaughter, Kaitlyn's, 13th birthday party on Sept 15th, a Saturday and luckily the dealership has service hours on Saturdays.  This past Saturday I called to schedule that maintenance and also requested that they look at my dash to get ALL the dash lights to light. (I'm just weird that way!)

Within seconds I felt like I was talking to a "regular" car dealership.  The service adviser told me that I didn't need an oil change till 15K or one year, whichever came first and that my car would let me know with a message on the dash when that was so.  When I questioned him about my advice from Brad, the sales person, the service adviser again said that it didn't need to be changed. 

End of conversation about that.  

OK, so I asked about scheduling time for them to look at the dash lighting problem.  I was advised that they did NOT do diagnostic work of Saturdays that I would have to schedule time during the week.  I told him him that that solution would not work for me.  He said, "Well, we can't do diagnostic work because we might not get done and then you would be stranded without a car."  I asked, "But doesn't MINI provide loaner cars?"  You guessed it, "only on weekdays."

The light at the end of the tunnel is that I emailed Brad, the sales person, of my dismay.  To his credit, on a holiday weekend he immediately emailed me back asking me to call him on Tuesday while in my car, as he thinks he knows what the dash issue is and how to solve it.

What's this got to do with networking?  Well, networking is all about relationships and how they are maintained.  We usually think about this between two people, but it certainly can happen between a person and a company. 

Brad, the sales person, has at least made an attempt to keep my relationship intact with MINI. 

The service adviser?  I hope that he has come back from the holiday weekend with a refreshed attitude!