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?


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.

Paying to Speak is Like, Hmmm, Paying for Sex

July 9, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, entrepreneurship, public speaking, sales, Sales Training | Leave a comment

I do an extensive amount of public speaking, at business conferences, trade associations, networking groups, executive retreats and more. Some of these are paid gigs and others are unpaid and I tend to look at them as a marketing opportunity where I can present myself as an “expert”, share knowledge and build name recognition.

With me so far.

Well, what do you think about a (small) association that asks their speakers to pay them! Yup. That’s right. Pay them.

I was recently presented with this “opportunity” which I politely declined. I got mixed reactions from colleagues. Some said that by asking for payment they didn’t value me as a speaker and/or my expertise. Others said that they understood their rationale and that there was nothing wrong with it.

What do you think?

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