Ever find yourself wondering why in the world you're wasting time with someone who appears to be completely useless to you? I do too, although more and more I find myself completely fascinated by people who are terrible networkers, relentless sales sharks, and behave in other inexplicable ways. It's like a car wreck; you don't want to look but you wonder what happened. And just when you think there's no value, they'll say or do one little thing that made it worth the time spent.
My friend Jay Petersen of the Geeks Computer Service has a story about spending time with an advertising consultant way back when Jay first went into business. He spent several weeks working with the guy who seemed to be completely full of self-aggrandizing junk. After several formal sessions, they were having a casual dinner and in the course of normal conversation, the guy dropped a pearl of wisdom that made the whole thing worthwhile.
Too many of us don't have the patience to sort through chaff to get to the wheat. We expect everything to be pure and simple and laid out for us. I still hear people saying that they don't like networking because so many people they meet aren't their target market. Life isn't like that. You can't go to the "perfect customer store," you have to find the pearls of wisdom contained in the general mishmash of life.