Eeeeekkkkkk picture this......you've just finished guest speaking at an event about Authentic Branding, Building Relationships for the last half an hour. The crowd is engaged and responds well with a queue of people waiting to speak with you, to build relationships, find out more and simply share stories and experiences. Thats when one of the attendees fast approaches you whilst you are standing talking in a group and boldly interrupts, shoving her business card in your face and telling you (yup telling you, not asking you) that she'd love it if I could please refer people to her business, that she's a local and is looking to grow her business.
Now remember you had just finished speaking about building relationships so clearly she missed the point, had either slipped into a deep trance or maybe quietly nodded off into eyelid heaven because I'm sure you just spoke about the impact of such things on your brand and business. Do you a) accept said business card and interact with her b) asked her if she missed the point of your whole speech or c) shut down the conversation because her approach is the complete opposite to what you'd just spoken about?
Yes thats exactly right......this is one of the things that recently happened to me and I'm sure you may be thinking "why would she do that" as was I, The irony was she was obviously there to network but she got me off guard and feeling like "no way would I refer my network to you" so it defeated the purpose of her being at such an event. Not once did she engage, did she ask about me, my business or even explain her passion, her story, her why or even what she does. How can one refer people to you if you can't even build a relationship, tell others about your passion, your work or why you do what you do?
By doing this she disconnected the whole group of people speaking, she left a bad taste in my mouth, she didn't understand (by not asking) what my friends, clients, customers etc valued, looked for or what their needs were for her to meet so how could I connect my network with her if I too didn't understand.
This is what ruined her brand for me in the first 2.5 seconds of meeting her. I politely accepted her business card however it stayed on the table when I left the event because I just wasn't connect with her or her approach. To be honest I can't even think of the name of her business because thats the sort of impression she left with me. So here is 5 Tips for What Not To Do:
1: Never interrupt a speaker to forcefully just hand them a business card
2: Be aware of the energy you are bringing to the conversation
3: Always engage with someone first, ask them a little about themselves, compliment them as I'm sure they will in turn then engage in conversation with you and about what you do
4: NEVER do the opposite of what someone has just spent the last half hour talking about, it shows disrespect and lack of understanding
5: Think of how you want to be remembered and if you are walking the talk
Yes self-awareness plays a major role when building your brand, your business and your product so please, pretty please with a cherry on top be aware of your body language, the language you use to others and how that impacts you on building relationships.
Cheers to be big week ahead as we push into March......with Easter just around the corner.
Much love to you all out there hustling to make a difference.