More Thoughts from the Ambassador Rally

I'm always a little taken aback when I'm at events like an Ambassador Rally and someone at the event uses really poor networking skills. I expect Ambassadors to be some of the most skillful networkers around. (Ambassadors are volunteers who help their Chambers of Commerce with membership retention, recruitment and events.)

Here are a couple of examples that surprised me the most. During the lunch hour, one person was walking around to each table and announcing "I'm collecting business cards." No attempt at conversation, no self-introduction, just pure ol' list-building, I guess. I haven't heard from him yet, but I certainly expect to. I tossed his business card away - he won't remember anything about me.

I received my first follow-up email this morning, which was terrific. The problem is that the email included a sales pitch for their service "as you requested." Now I know this was a form email - I didn't request more information. I was sorry to see this - the person who sent it was very interesting. We talked a little bit and I enjoyed meeting them. But now I have received a sales email and no discussion of the person-to-person conversation we had. Unless I very specifically told you I needed your sales information, please don't send it to me!

See, even those who should know better occasionally let their sales and prospecting sides take over, when they should have stuck to the networking. It's a cautionary tale to the rest of us, to remain ever vigilant.

1 comment:

  1. I've seen this so much, it's not funny. People need to get past the idea that networking is all about direct selling. That's why I push for Chambers to teach their new members right from the get go how to network. Some people may never get it, but teaching the basics as part of orientation will help most of them create value with their membership.