Two close friends, J and F, attended a breakfast seminar at a hotel.
A man came and joined them at the table. As usual, name cards were exchanged after handshake and brief chat.
Halfway through the seminar, the man had to leave and after excusing himself and a quick handshake again with them, he went off.
Later in the evening, F received an email from the guy at the seminar. It's a follow up email from him. In the email, the man apologized again for having to leave early and expressed interest in catching up with F to know more about what he does.
Wow, that was fast. F was impressed with the guy's fast follow up.
Since F received an email from the man, he naturally thought J must have also received one as well. After all, they were chatting together. So he asked J if he received an email from the guy. J checked his email and there was none. He even checked his spam mail to make sure.
So why did the man only follow up with F but not J? Could it be that J does not have anything that is of interest to him?
Of course, we cannot control the action and thought of a person. The guy has the right and freedom to contact and follow up with anyone he wants to at such networking events. But is there a bigger lesson to learn from it?
Everyone knows that at networking events, everyone try to make as many contacts as possible. These people are the potential future customers that you can follow up with. And what are most of these people thinking at such events?
"How I can sell my products and services to these people?"
"Who will be most beneficial to my business?"
When they go with this mindset, what do they look out for?
Yes, people whom they think that they can qualify as a prospect or someone whom they can make use of, be it to link them up with higher authority or someone with connections.
Now back to F and J. F works in a big corporation while J is an entrepreneur. If you were F or J, what will you think about the guy? Would you think the guy follow up with you with an agenda?
If F did not ask J about the email, he probably think that the guy is being courteous to follow up and is sincere to keep in touch. If you are J and you know that this guy chose to follow up with only F, what impression will you have of him? Will you even think of referring him businesses in the future?
And what makes the guy decides to follow up with one but not the other? Did he choose to follow up with F because F works at a big corporation and he sees the opportunity of securing business with the company? On what basis did he decide that J is not worth to even keep in touch?
If the guy met F and J separately and chose to follow up with one but not the other, does it mean he's safe (as the chance of F and J knowing what he did is lower)? Then is he being smart?
News travel fast. The one thing you cannot be sure of is who knows who, who talks to who, who shares what with who. In no time, people will find out about the kind of person you are.
Well, that's reality, isn't it?
But what's reality?
Instead of thinking of promoting yourself, think of how you can add value to the other party. Even if the other party is not your potential customer, there's no harm keeping in touch. You never know when you will need his or her help in future. You never know who he knows. You never know if he can influence the decision of your potential customer.
Networking is not about the company name and job title printed on the name card.
My mom made an interesting comment, a question in fact, when she saw this ad sometimes back.
"Why is the mother chasing and beating her daughter?"
Well, if you've seen this ad before, you know that this is about a person's future played forward. My mom has misinterpreted the whole idea behind the ad.
Her comment made me think, "Does this mean that the ad has failed for not being able to communicate the main idea clearly to its audience?" The ideas behind ads are supposed to be easily understood. The worst thing to happens is to have your idea being misunderstood, isn't it?
On the other hand, I was thinking, "So was the ad specifically made for its target market?"
If this ad was indeed made for a particular niche, then it's is possible that the rest won't be able to understand what the ad is talking about. For example, if you are marketing golf products, those who do not play this sports will not be able to understand what you are talking about, unless you cater specifically for newbies.
Then my mom is clearly NOT their target audience.
The next question is, if this is meant for a niche group, should this TV commercial even appears at all? After all, you are exposing your ad to the mass. Unlike topic or interest-specific magazines, you won't be able to predict who will be watching the program in which your ad will appears. This means you are paying for exposure to those not in your target group. Perhaps the company could have chosen to air its commercial in programs that its target audience are most likely to watch, but is there a better media other than TV?
Furthermore, when a person is watching TV, what state of mind is he or she in? While the commercial itself is rather entertaining with a bit of drama, is it compelling enough to make people sit up and listen or reflect on the idea the ad is conveying?
So if you are using mass media, should your ad be simple and easily understood by all or only your potential customers? Or better still, understood by all and extremely interesting to your potential customers?
A lady bought a flat in the north of Singapore with the intention of renting it out for rental income.
While she is waiting for the current owner to move out, she went online to a property portal to search for potential tenant.
A man (from Myanmar) has posted an ad looking to rent a room at Novena for $1,500 per month.
As there are many hospitals and medical centers in that area, the lady guessed that this person must be in the medical profession, probably in nursing.
Seeing the high rent that this person is willing to pay, she called him up and found out that he is a doctor.
"Wow, how lucky!" the lady exclaimed silently in her heart.
Unfortunately, the man needed to move out quickly before the lady's house is ready.
Now, what makes the lady think that this man would be interested in renting a flat that is at least 7 stations away from the area he is looking to rent a unit? Even if the man is fine with the location, does she think that he will pays $1,500 for a room which does not provide him the convenience of being near his workplace?
If the lady has bothered to check out Novena, she would have find out that there are no flats in that area. Most of the houses there are either condominium or landed properties. The nearest flats are on the other side of the road which is quite a distance away. The man probably quoted the$1,500 rent based on condominium.
Of course, you might say there's no harm in asking. Who knows maybe the person might be interested after all.
That is perfectly fine.
The issue here is did she try to find out what the man really wanted? Even if she knows that he is a doctor and probably wanted a place near to where he works, did she verify it with him? After all, this is just her assumption.
I attended an exhibition the other day. Out of all the exhibitors' booth I visited, no one actually bothered to ask me about my business. They were all too busy trying to sell their products and services, hoping to get me interested to buy from them.
For every brochure they gave out, all the exhibitors asked for my name card or requested me to write down my contact details so they can follow up with me. While it's important to collect leads, I wonder how many people actually remembered what was shared and communicated with all the visitors at the show.