Unless You Can Sing Like B.B. King, Don’t Sing the Blues

February 16, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, entrepreneurship, meetings, Networking, New York Sales Trainer, small business | Leave a comment

I went to a networking event the other night and as you do at these types of events, I engaged in conversation with many of the attendees. Bad idea! It seemed as if every other person with whom I spoke was “singing the blues!”

“Sure, business is better now but with last year’s debacle, I don’t know if I’ll ever catch up”

“I don’t know why the paper says the recession is over because I’m not seeing too many improvements”

And so on. You get the idea. Singing the blues. To me. Not to one of their trusted advisors, not to a colleague but to me, a business person unknown to them and perhaps, a good referral source or, still better yet, a potential new client.

Despite my best efforts to turn these conversations around, many of the blues singers persisted and, of course, the conversations turned dreary. And of course I was thinking: would I wish to refer or do business with theses folks if, as they revealed, things were so bad?!

What does singing the blue accomplish? It’s nice to vent and share feelings and situations with folks with whom you have a business relationship. But strangers? Somehow I don’t think that’s such a smart idea.

So next time you find yourself singing the blues to persons unknown, get a grip and simply stop yourself before you create a negative first impression.

You know what they say: you don’t have a second chance to create a first impression.

Make certain that you create a good / positive one.


Brrrr, Baby, It’s Cold In Here

December 23, 2010 at 8:29 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, meetings, Networking, New York Sales Trainer, public speaking, sales | 1 Comment

It’s cold in here. How can that be? I could have sworn that I was “invited” to this event but it just doesn’t feel that way and it’s not just my imagination.

You know the scene. You’re invited to a little networking gathering because the members have decided that guests are important. They say that they want to grow their group. You get there right on time because you understand the etiquette involved and want to make a good impression. You walk in, don your name tag, stand around for a wee while and then, well, nothing.

You spy folks clustered in little groups sporting name tags that show they are members of the group and not guests. You try to make eye contact but there seems to be none of that. There are few, if any, folks standing about on their own and so you decide to walk over and introduce yourself.

(Full disclosure at this point: I AM NOT an introvert and yet this situation has happened to me as well!)

The “clusters” look up, provide what is definitely just a perfunctory greeting, respond to your queries about what it is they do and then turn back to their conversation without actually including you.

Now while I know that seems pretty extreme and maybe I am being a tad over-dramatic this is not all that far from the truth.

I also know that I have painted a pretty grim picture and yes, it doesn’t occur all that often. But I ask you, why does it happen at all? What a strange and unbelievable trip it is to be invited to something and then to not be warmly welcomed. Dysfunctional, yes?

Has this ever happened to you? I know that this experience has made me an even better networker finding it ever so important to be certain to welcome, introduce and follow-up with folks that attend my events.

But I believe that I am in the minority.

What’s been your experience? Am I alone here or are there others that have had this happen as well?

Could It Be “Just My Imagination”

November 2, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, entrepreneurship, meetings, Networking, sales, Sales Training, small business | Leave a comment

The Rolling Stones provided us with Just My Imagination and I was thinking the very same thing this morning when I realized that more than a few of the people that I have met recently at networking events, and who had expressed what seemed to be sincere interest in following up and getting to know each other a bit, have fallen off the grid.

Yep disappeared.

I’ve tried emailing and then calling all to no avail.

I’ve left messages that help fill in the blanks as to who I am and why I am trying to connect with them. (I know that everyone is busy and meeting so many people that they just might not remember me.)

Still nothing.

Gee, what a waste of time to put yourself out there, go to the trouble of going to events and so forth and then not following up or following through with the contacts you make.

Am I unique in this situation? Not on your life. I’ve asked many people and they agree that more often than not, the majority of people just slip away and don’t follow-up with the contacts and connections initiated at these meetings and events.

I used to be more persistent but I have to admit to taking a different approach now. Unless I have a very clear idea that the person that I am trying to connect with is absolutely a slam dunk in terms of referral or sales potential, I just let it go. I send one email, make one phone call and then that’s it.

Perhaps it was “Just My Imagination” that they were interested in the first place.

A Perfect Playground for Being Obnoxious

August 15, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, Marketing, meetings, public speaking, sales, Sales Training, small business | Leave a comment

Many of us participate in meetings and training sessions on a regular basis. They can be helpful, informative, and conducive to growing bonds with colleagues. However, they can also be breeding grounds for those blatantly obnoxious individuals who you would just like to muzzle.

You know the type – the person who never shuts up, disagrees with everyone, and hogs the attention. They’re typically oblivious to the fact that everyone around them wants them to shut up. But, there are also those who are aware of what they’re doing and thrive on being antagonistic and annoying.

So, how can you control this idiot? Here are a few tactful tips that can work almost as well as a muzzle:

DON’T rise up to their level of obnoxiousness. You certainly don’t want to be pegged as someone with similar bad behavior, nor do you want to give any ammo to the idiot to attack you personally.

DO acknowledge them sweetly and say things like “that’s a good point”, “interesting that you bring that up”, and “I understand why you think that”. You would probably rather gag than say such niceties, but sometimes acknowledging them is all they need to tone it down.

DO call for a break if they are getting increasingly out of control despite your attempts to rein them in.

DO pull them aside and speak to them privately to express your concerns.

DO try to get them on your side and ask for their support on certain issues that you will be discussing in the class.

DON’T hesitate to ask them to leave the session if they refuse to participate in a productive manner.

It’s an unfortunate reality of life that there are certainly obnoxious individuals among us. And, meetings and training sessions can bring out their worst behavior. However, by beating them at their own game and not tolerating their ego-focused nonsense, you can effectively minimize their ability to irritate you and your fellow attendees.

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