NETWORKING IS WORKING! PART II
Whilst meditating this month’s article and awaiting the muse to settle upon me, I had an e-mail from one of my delegates. He was involved with an account management programme and despite following all the rules on the phone and by e-mail felt he was getting no where fast. So he thought, ended that story and the account in question relegated to the amorphous database for a new recruit to revive in a few years’ time. He attended an unrelated client event where his agency provided the after dinner speaker and band to ensure his ‘talent’ was well received and to make his client feel loved. During the course of the networking session prior to dining he introduced himself to a random gentleman who was nursing his glass in a corner of the room and struck up a conversation. This wine drinker appeared very friendly and proceeded to invite my delegate to join him for dinner at his table. As my delegate would ordinarily be housed at the back of the room (behind a pillar) he accepted enthusiastically. He was further surprised when it emerged that the table in question was slap bang in the middle of the room just in front of the stage. Feeling honoured and more than a little surprised he gingerly engaged his new host in conversation and went through the usual gamut of exchanges; who are you, what do you do and so forth. By an amazing twist of fate, the wine drinker turned out to be none other than the chief executive officer from the hitherto relegated account, who amongst other things was lamenting the fact that his wife was having a birthday party soon and he was looking to book a band for her bash. . .
Now the question is, was that luck, coincidence or further proof that networking is alive and well and yielding the results that had thwarted previous attempts at account management? The older I get the more I have come to realise that business is not just about the application of rules or formulae. It is a combination of good practice, being personable and distribution or exposure. It is increasingly clear that there are patterns if you look for them. A certain gentleman (who used to work for a well known trade association) was often ridiculed by his colleagues and bosses for having the reputation for ‘attending the opening of an envelope’. What I will say in his defence is that he was utterly successful in delivering the results he was charged with. He might not have had the best sales techniques in the world, his interpersonal skills might at times have been suspect, his telephone manner may have been interpreted as quirky, but his distribution / exposure rating was first class. Now that we are constantly assured to be well on the road to financial recovery are we ‘getting amongst it’ and using all the tools in our armoury? Open your mind and think beyond the phone and e-mail funnels.