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Identifying Networking Nitwits to Avoid Prospecting Nightmares

16 Dec, 2003 By: Jay Wallus imageSource

Identifying Networking Nitwits to Avoid Prospecting Nightmares

Did you
ever think that you were "ahead of the pack" in a certain skill only
to turn around and meet someone who put you in your place? That's what happened
to me recently when I was doing research for and upcoming audio CD training
program. This was a real wake up call for me and I hope that by sharing my
experience, you'll agree that there is always room for learning.

I am
often asked about business to business networking and how to succeed at
networking events. Over the years, I have made a lot of mistakes and had a lot
of great victories. I'm not sure what that makes me other than experienced.
However, my ideas and views on sales and networking are banking one guy I
taught, more than $450,000/yr. (not gross sales but income to him) in his
industry with 89 percent of those sales through word of mouth referrals.

to add even more substance to my audio program, I set out to find the best
networker in the business. I asked a few select people (all of them are making
over $250,000/yr) for the name of the best business development person they knew
who was adept at getting word of mouth referrals. I was rewarded by my
colleagues, time and time again, with the same name. If this man's ideals and
thoughts on business to business networking were similar to mine, he would be
the perfect compliment to my program.

would call him a great networker, but he doesn't. He considers himself a great
business builder…of your business. He's out to grow other people's businesses,
period. He makes no bones about it; he'll work hard for you and he expects you
to work hard for him. And, while this appears to be networking, the way this man
goes about getting business is a combination of experience and intuition. Saving
time by weeding out those that do not come through has become his goal and it's
through his practices that he has succeeded so well.

I told
him that most of my clients go to Rotary meetings, business referral
organizations and Chamber of Commerce meetings to network with businesses and
find new prospects. What my clients really wanted was an easy way to spot great
people to network with-real hitters. This, I told my clients, was easier said
than done, and took time to develop relationships and to meet with people to
learn more about them, develop trust, and really bond.

why waste all that time," was his reply. According to him, there were ways
that you could easily recognize what he called "networking nitwits" or
those people who were a waste of your time and, unless they specifically
approached you, would never generate sales leads. He found that these nitwits
have the same characteristics no matter what event/meeting they're at. He
explained that over the years he developed a system to rule out specific people
based on these characteristics and then made sure to stay away from them. Listed
below are the results of my interview. You may never look at another networking
event the same again.

The Top
Ten Characteristics of Networking Nitwits 1. If you have been going to a
regularly scheduled event/meeting, watch the people who sit/congregate in the
same exact place every single time. This says lots about them. They don't like
any change or anything new and they are usually limited in their business
thinking as well. They do things the same way over and over. Don't ever try to
show them something new-they won't hear it. Do you really want to introduce them
to your clients/prospects?

Watch their body language. This is another huge indicator of who they are as
people/business people. Stay away from the people with their arms folded-they
generally block out anything new as well. Stay away from the sloucher-for
obvious reasons. People standing in front of walls always seem to be the timid
ones-protecting their back. Once again it's not perfect but pretty close to how
they'll act in business as well.

Watch out for people who love to tell you about all of the books that they've
read. Try asking, "What have you done to implement these ideas into your
business/life?" If their answer is a story without an answer, stay away.
They probably act like that in business relationships as well-all talk and no
action. However, if the person has actually implemented these ideas, you've got
a winner.

4. If a
person seems too busy, always rushed and have a million things on their mind,
they typically won't take any time to help you grow your business. They can't
handle their own issues. They're trying to get everything done, but trying to do
too much never gets anything done one hundred percent.

5. As
is typical in many BNI or other referral groups, people stand up in front of the
group to tell about what they do. Watch the differences in the way they look
when talking to the group and the way they look when they sit down. Changes in
facial expression often indicate that the person is putting on a different
face-only when they have to. Be very careful!

6. When
you meet people who only brag about being able to "beat any price" or
"blow away the competition on price", this indicates that they
generally have no clue about business period. Stay far away!

Watch for the person (especially in those referral groups) who always has
something good to say about someone in the group. While that part is good, the
bad part is they only say that to draw attention away form the fact that they
simply didn't work hard enough that week to get any referrals for others. If
they won't work hard to help others get referrals, they probably won't work hard
for you either.

Beware of the person who isn't prepared-even with business cards. If they don't
have any cards at a networking event, they're not serious.

Watch out for the person that gives you that overwhelming feeling in
conversation that "they're trying to sell me something." It's
something that your gut tells you; they think that they'll get one by you.

Stay away from people who tell you the way that things should be done (how to
run the meeting, how to put on a better event, how things should have been done
differently) but when you ask them what they've done to help correct it, they
have nothing to say.

my networking expert said he could go on and on, I came to realize that a
networking situation is a small snapshot of what life in business is like and
there are ways to recognize all different personality types, both good and bad,
depending on what you were looking for.

all that, I asked how he knew who the great prospects and fellow networkers are.
His answer was very simple: find the people who are out there actually taking
action on the things that you want to accomplish. Look for the person who is
always stepping up to the plate to get things done. These people are active in
all of those organizations-they don't have any stories-they simply get things
done. It's that easy.

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