True Networking Story
I don’t have kids have always known I wouldn’t want kids. I don’t really relate to kids. (I am one of those grumpy guys that turn off all the lights on Halloween) Keep this in mind as you read further on this true story. A few years ago, we had a visitor come to the house. I open the door and there is a kid in a Boy Scout uniform (could have been Weeblo’s) standing about 4 feet tall. He could have been 7 or he could have been 12. Not being interested in kids, I don’t know ages at this stage. He was short. First thing out of his mouth is “Want to buy some popcorn?”
I thought (didn’t say out loud) “WTF is this shit”. Seriously? No introduction? No “I am raising money for this or that cause?” Did you just hit me with a straight up “want to buy some popcorn?” Who sent this crumb snatcher out here? Do they not have a “how to sell some popcorn badge?” Needless to say, I was a little “put out”.
I asked him who he was, thinking I would give him a second chance and he would introduce himself and give me the rest of the pitch. “My name is Joey, want to buy some popcorn?” Kids these days, where is the world going? Did the parents seriously send this kid out unarmed to make a pitch? I seriously walked out onto the porch to see where the dumb ass parents were. Nowhere in sight. Go figure.
I need to create a video game that teaches kids how to sell Somoa’s, Thin Mints, and Carmel Popcorn.
I explained to him the concept of networking. He needs to introduce himself (courtesy), tell me what troop he is with (credibility) and why he is raising the money (connect with me). Is he going to camp? I don’t know if he is just pocketing the money or doing well with it. I explained that common courtesy goes a long way in any culture. I sent him back outside and told him to try it again. We went through this 3 times before I forked out 15.00 for a small bag of popcorn that had to be pre-ordered and would be delivered in 4 weeks. I need to live in a place with a mile long driveway.
The point being, I think it is a bit insincere to hear “what jobs are you hiring for / looking for within the first 30 seconds”, even if that is the purpose of the event.
Had this kid waved to me when I was at the local grocery store, helped me mow my lawn, or sang some carols in front of my house during the holidays, AKA “Networked”, I would have just forked over the money as soon as he got to the door.
Some general thoughts about networking.
We both know one of us “wants something” (Yes, I figured the kid was trying to sell something, because I don’t have a son or child that he would come over to play with). You want some help, and I genuinely want to help.
- Favors are always easier to ask if you already know the person. So try to meet people even when you don’t need anything. (You shouldn’t ONLY find yourself asking for introductions when you need something)
- Favors are always easier to ask for if you have ALREADY done someone a favor. (If the Weeblo had sung some Christmas carols or helped me mow my lawn. . . )
- Favors go down easier if you offer to help or do something in return.
- If you ask a favor of someone during your job hunt, odds are that you are going to come to that person again. A thank you card, gesture, note, or an update goes a long way. I personally don’t care for it if someone calls me out of the blue every 9 months and always “wants my time”.
- If you are going to meet with someone, do some background research on them. There is no excuse for the advent of Google and the all of the social tools out there.
That Weeblo must have quit the Scouts because I never did see him again.
See you at the after party
PS. Next week: How to increase your Girl Scout Cookies sales numbers. . . .
nasty: an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone who is good at something. “He has a nasty forkball”.
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