Thursday, June 9, 2011

Extreme Weather and Extreme Networking

I believe this spring will be known for it's strange weather. Hail the size of golf balls. Tornados wiping out whole cities, heat that is debilitating and then even cool weather in contrast. It’s been very strange weather indeed. Does it affect your networking efforts?

Obviously when we are in the middle of severe weather, it definitely will affect our efforts. I was thinking about the weather and how it can affect our plans and efforts and then I thought about people.

People network different ways. Are any of them wrong? Some may suggest they are. However we do know that different methods of communication appeal to different types of people. My imagination got the best of me and I began to see the different weather as different networking styles.

Hail/Snow- These are the people who smother you with cards, leaflets, brochures, and flyers. Oh and here’s some more for your friends! You go back to your office with piles and bags of stuff. You intend to look at it and maybe you do. However if a relationship is lacking the information doesn’t really sink in, just sits there on the surface.

Tornados/Hurricanes- This networker will blast you with postal mail, email campaigns, social media invites, even some that you’ve never even heard of. This person is definitely visible however they never reach out to you in person, they just tear apart your mailboxes with their invites and information. Yet a relationship is once again, lacking.

Extreme Heat/ Cool Temperature- You attend a networking event, business or social. These networkers will approach you, “Nice to meet you. We should get together. Here’s my card!” You feel as though this was a fantastic connection and you are excited to get to know each other and find out how you can more efficiently help each other. However at the next event a week or two later, they don’t “recognize” you and when you approach them, they are too busy with the person they just met, almost saying the same things they said to you.

Rain- Now this person really connects with you. They like you and they want to be your new best friend. They dominate your time and won’t let you get away from them. Not only that, since you have “become fast friends”, they begin to share all their personal and private information. Possibly more than you were interested in knowing. The relationship has only begun but now you’ve been soaked with details. These details are commonly known as TMI and they may even hinder your relationship from going any further.

Humidity- They are hot for you and your business. You know the one, right? They are pointing at you with their pistol formed hands that pretend to shoot you as they wink and flash that smile! They don’t let you talk, they just tell you that they are the answer to all your problems. They give you a “Here’s my card, call me Hun!” as they walk away shooting and winking again. Not necessarily the connection you were trying to make…

Dry- You have met this person once or twice and you even like them, however their contact with you is sporadic. They are irregular in answering phone calls and emails as in sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. But then every once in a while, you get some from of marketing from them. A newsletter, a flyer in the mail… Ooooo! they just posted on twitter for the first time in two years! The connection could work but there is no regularity. The relationship becomes dry.

Yes, these are extreme descriptions but forgive me, we’ve had extreme weather and I’m in an extreme mood. ((Big smile)) There is nothing wrong with the essence of what they are doing. It’s just the superlative degree in which they are doing it makes their efforts less productive.

Now imagine if you will your idea of a perfect day, the one that’s perfectly balanced for you. Yes, we all have different preferences and that is why all of the different forms of networking can be efficient. However extreme weather or extreme networking often leaves the recipient of these efforts, hollow and empty and possibly even skeptical. Finding the perfect balance will increase your networking productivity as well as your return on your investment.

Have you ever met one of our extreme networkers? I’d love to hear your story!

Tara Schmakel

The Once timid Networker

Entrepreneurial Excellence