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Get a Frog Kissing Radar Device - Business Networking Articles

Business Networking Articles > Latest Blogs

2008-04-02 10:16:54
Get a Frog Kissing Radar Device

Get a Frog Kissing Radar Device

Sarah Owen, Referral Institute

If only we had some sort of magical radar which could tell us right from the first time we met someone whether their values matches ours, whether they were going to do what they say they are going to do, whether they know lots of people we would like to meet, whether we know lots of people they would like to meet, whether they were going to always going to honour the relationship we have, whether we could tell if they would make sure they gave back any relationship we introduced to them in a better state than when they got it, whether they would get too busy and let the relationship fizzle out, whether through thick and thin we would still like each other……ah if only…….

If this hi-tech piece of equipment existed then we could find perfect advocates to help us with qualified introductions to our business on a regular basis and we would both have as much fun witnessing the other’s success as our own.  We could take this equipment out with me and secretly scan someone and think of the time, money and sweat we could save if it bleeped to tell us “they’re a frog, you are about to kiss a frog!!”  On the other hand it would purr with delight when you scan the right relationship “yes, them, them, they will turn into a prince!”

We can rely on the evidence of others who may know the person to see what word of mouth they are generating.  Good, sweet, tasty word of mouth or the green slimy stuff we need to avoid.  We can also check out business information, look at how they present themselves through website, printed collateral, their personal look. 

How can we do this in a networking environment though?  You only meet people briefly at these events and you meet a lot of interesting people so how do you know which ones are worth pursuing? 

Until the machine hits the market look out for early indicators when networking:

  • Does the other person talk more about themselves than asking about you?
  • At any stage did their eyes flit over your shoulder to see who was more interesting than you in the room?
  • Does the other person force business card, leaflets, special offers, merchandise on you in an inappropriate way?
  • Does the other person have coherent and short answers (including “I don’t know”) to questions like
    • “so, what do you do?” 
    • “where do you do it?”
    • “who do you do it for?”
    • “how did you get into this business?”
    • “what do you like most about your work?”
    • “what is the biggest challenge in your industry at the moment?”
    • "Is there anyone in particular which would be a useful contact for you?”
  • Is the person easy to get along with?
  • Does the person meet you at “your volume” and put you at ease?

After meeting someone at a networking event do they:

  • Follow up?
  • Respond quickly to your follow up?
  • Meet up as agreed, but quickly start selling to you?
  • Seem as attractive in daylight?
  • Say thank you the first time you do something to help them?

One thing is for sure just in the same way in sales we have to qualify a prospect we can save vast amounts of time qualifying a potential advocate.  Yes the relationship will develop over time, yes people can learn and change, yes you may have caught the person on a bad day if they made an initial poor first impression, yes all people make the odd mistake and you may have to see how they correct an error, yes you may have to manage the relationship effectively while you get to know the person, yes you can overcome a lot of the challenges you will face by setting expectations early on in the relationship and regularly reviewing the relationship.  You can turn a frog into a prince by taking responsibility and making sure you do the right things to encourage, motivate and help the other person.

But you can definitely reduce the number of Frogs You Kiss and stop wasting time on people who will take from you with no intention of wanting to give back….how?....by implementing your own checks and balances...........just until we take delivery of the Frog Kissing Radar Device that is. 

Sarah Owen is the UK Master Franchise Owner for The Referral Institute in the UK.  Her website is www.referralinstitute.co.uk.

Posted by Dave Clarke at 10:16:54, 02 Apr 08
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