Friends: Be smarter than this guy was…
Just sat through the worst presentation of a business opportunity program ever. Why? Well, the person I was Zooming with knew over a week ago we would talk, but he never looked at my LI profile. Never checked out my website. Knew nothing about me except for my name.
Therefore, he never knew how inappropriate his words might be for me, specifically. Never realized that I might know something about networking and branding, which are his topics, so he never changed his pitch to reflect the person he was actually talking to.
Autopilot all the way once he got started.
He first asked what I knew about HIM, and I told him I was referred, as he knew. I gave a quick (maybe 30 seconds) summary of my work and my LI connections (I mentioned how many I have, which seemed to surprise him), and that was the last time I spoke for about 10 minutes.
I kept thinking there’d be some back-and-forth, some real conversation, but no. He was on a roll, telling me all the things I need to do to succeed, to build my brand, to network effectively.
Everything he said was appropriate and useful, but NOT. FOR. ME.
Finally, I asked if he had looked at my LI profile or my website, and he said he hadn’t had time; he’d just come from a meeting. Hell, I didn’t mean today … I meant ever!
He plunged back into his pitch as though I hadn’t spoken, not looking at me, not seeing my grimaces, not noticing anything about me. He shared his screen, showing me LI profiles of folks I don’t know for reasons I never quite got. He basically talked at me from a script he has in his head; there was nothing personal in any of it.
Autopilot all the way.
Of course, you know I’m always open to learning new tricks, and I do learn from all of you regularly! But I am not a newbie at networking or building my brand, and his approach could have easily reflected that.
After another 5 minutes, I stopped him with my hands, told him I was not interested, and told him specifically why.
His face showed his shock at what I said and probably how I said it. Give him credit, though: He thanked me for my honesty and said in the future he’d ask questions about the other person. But if he’s only asking someone else about their life because he thinks he has to … it won’t work.
And that’s a real shame on many levels, because I think he’s got some decent ideas about organizing our networking efforts, not just on social media, and there are those who probably could benefit from them. But treating someone like a cardboard cutout, rather than like a real person, isn’t going to help him.
What are your thoughts here, friends?