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Don’t accost me!  

Yep, don’t run up to me with anything you want me to buy, do, or otherwise engage in. Approach me with a desire to FIRST connect. And once we connect, then seek to enlist me to sit down with you over coffee or lunch to get to know me better - and let me know you better. Because if you don’t. . . . I will make mental note to avoid future accosts.

There’s nothing that angers me more than for another to assume I don’t or can’t read ulterior motives! I’m fond of saying it thusly. . . . “don’t take me for dumb & stupid!” More & more, I’m convinced that the way AWI does networking (F2F & online) is absolutely the solution for avoiding those awkward moments when we might be inclined to “rush up” & leave another breathless for a quick getaway.

Is this a ‘rant‘? Well, yes - somewhat. It flows from an incident at a networking event this past week. An incident that began with a voice mail message from someone whose name was familiar, but for the life of me, I couldn’t place the face.

Then the person (a female) came rushing up to me at the event; introduced herself with “do you remember me” and once I acknowledged that I recognized the “face” - began her spiel! A spiel that was basically a desire to add me to her ‘downline belt’ using the names of well-known folks in the Indy area.

These folks, it seems have bought into something exciting & new of which I’ve just become acquainted. Acquainted because I have been approached to be part of it in a way much different than the woman standing in front of me at the close of a long evening spent on concrete floors with no chairs on which to sit & take a ‘breather‘.

I listened for a moment & then let the woman know that I had already been approached by folks connected to the corporation of which she was speaking. She was surprised & didn’t seem to understand what I was saying (actually that is exactly what I wanted - a lack of understanding on her part because I’ve chosen to be quiet about the opportunity I have).

She didn’t seem to want to take my remarks as a “no“! In fact - and this is the part that ‘curled my hair’ - she asked me the following: “I suppose - well, do you feel an obligation to go with the folks in (another state) who’ve approached you first?”

Well (duh) yes! My response was a resounding “yes, of course, that’s a matter of integrity!”

The woman smiled; thanked me & then rushed off to the next ‘prey‘. Did I feel like a commodity who had just dashed her hopes of adding me to her downline belt? Of course I did! Did I get the idea that she wanted to make a connection with me for any other reason than to add me to her ‘belt‘? NO!

In fact, I don’t think she was interested in a connection at all. All she wanted was a hint of interest on my part that would allow her to launch into a sales pitch. A sales pitch at the close of the “concrete floor” event at a time when all I wanted was to sit down; eat real food & laugh a little with the friends who had accompanied me.

I share the whole ‘gory’ story here because it’s the exact opposite of what all the networking gurus are telling us is the wave of the future of successful networking & marketing! People are far less likely to do business with us when we treat them as the ‘next’ commodity in a long line of “no’s” from which they are counting to what should be the next “yes“.

Virtually everything that is being written & talked about in the world of business has to do with successful networking as the making of significant connections - moving to the building of strong relationships that then lead to a steady stream of referrals.

I know I ‘harp’ on this a lot. . . .but I know that it’s necessary to do so because around every corner is someone (of either gender) ready to accost us to buy their shiny new widget!

If I hadn’t been so ‘wigged-out’ by the long evening on concrete - I might have invited the woman to connect with me over coffee so that I could teach her a thing or two about how to have made me a friend. A friend instead of someone who will avoid her at all costs the next open networking event in which we both appear at the door!

It’s all about TRUST! Yes, it’s all about building trust with others - BEFORE we do anything else! Or say anything else for that matter. And we aren’t going to develop the kind of life stance based on self-trust until we reach a level of integrity (wholeness; congruence). And without self-trust. . . . we will continue to romp from one person to the next looking not for a connection. But for another notch to add to our belt.

So if you take anything away from this post. . . take away a desire to learn how to make significant connections sans-an accosting style.

Take away a desire to delve deeper into your own resources & find those places that are not yet “whole” & resolve to do whatever it takes to bring them into line with the rest of your inner congruence.

Once you’ve achieved that level of integrity. . . you will never - I say never come romping up to someone who may or may not remember you. And you will never begin a conversation that sounds vaguely like a “sales pitch“.

But you will go away with loads of great new significant connections that just may turn into great strong bonded relationships from which will flow all the business you’ve ever hoped for or imagined.

And you will have made some great personal friendships as well. Friendships that will provide you with more than business over the lifetime you spend in relationship. In the long run of life’s journey. . . that’s what counts!

Have an awesome Sunday with loads of loving connections!

Linda, a fellow traveler
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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      (華娃娃) ChinaDoll wrote Feb 22, 2009
    • Totally agreed, especially here.  I see new newbies jump right into talking about their line of products or services.  Yana’s welcome message is “Connect, Share....”  She has nailed it: Connect first.  Personally, if I don’t feel the connection, unless I have a urgent need and no one I know among my circle that can fulfill that, I will risk to do business with strangers.  99% of the time, I like to do business with someone I know.

      Yours and my million dollar advise:  CONNECT first. Rest will come.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linda S Fitzgerald wrote Feb 22, 2009
    • Chinadoll!  That is exactly our vision & mission with our F2F women’s groups, as well as our reason for the online aspect.  It’s difficult to get women (who are, BTW, the world’s greatest natural networkers)to make the shift away from ‘transactional networking’ which is often the “in your face” brand - to relationship-building strategies.

      But in the long-run; RBS (relationship-building strategies) is the only way to go.

      Thanks for your comments!  Much love in your day!


            Report  Reply

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