Thursday, March 28, 2013

Put Me Out of My Misery

Karla Lewis is a good friend and even better referral partner.  She has become certified as a sales coach with Southwest Consulting, which excites me because I don't do and don't want to do traditional sales training.  Now I can send those requests to her.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I asked on Facebook for challenges that others face when networking.  Karla sent a comment that I'm sure we all are bothered by more than we want.  She asked, "What can I do about a person that I meet in a networking situation that talks the whole time?" 

We've all been there and probably have spent time  trying to figure out if that person can breathe through their ears, because they just don't seen to take a break. 

There are two main situations when this happens:

1)  You are at a networking event and this person comes up to you and launches their monologue.  Since you weren't expecting this salvo, you probably aren't prepared to defend yourself.  The best way to extricate yourself is to say something like, "Oh, excuse me, I have been taking all your time and I know that you want to meet a few more folks."  Now extend your hand to shake theirs (a signal that the conversation is done) and say, "Before we part, may I have your business card?"  When they give it to you say thanks and then move on.  It sounds kind of abrupt, but with this type of behavior, you can't be subtle.  Oh yeah, put a BIG x on that card, to let you know to never ever connect with that person again!

2)  You are having coffee with a new networking contact and he or she has asked for the meeting.  It is twenty minutes in and you are hating the fact that you agreed to this because this boring person is talking and talking and talking.  A couple times you had to stifle a yawn.  This is a tough situation.  Quickly decide whether you want to keep this person in your network.  If yes, you might interrupt and steer the conversation with some well-placed questions.  That way you will have control of what gets said.  If not, just interrupt and let the person know that you only have just a couple minutes to get to your next appointment and that you're sorry but you're going to have to cut this short.

I do want you to think about the person.  Are they new to networking and are they so nervous that they have diarrhea of the mouth.  Can you share how difficult it was for you as a new networker to learn to listen when all you wanted to do was talk? (you can lie a little here!)  Compassion goes a long way in the networking world.

OK, now it's your turn, what ideas do you have?


CTS_Tami said...

You can always invite them to a CN Class Preview!

CTS_Tami said...
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Debby said...

You are too funny! I'll leave that up to you!