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Is Your Attitude Flushing Sales and/or Relationships?

Posted on October 3, 2008 in Networking Tips | 4 comments

Is Your Attitude Flushing Sales and/or Relationships?

tiolet Is Your Attitude Flushing Sales and/or Relationships?I have been thinking about this post for about a week now, and after enjoying my cup of coffee for the morning I am ready to share a story with you that has made me really take a good hard look at networking with people who may not have the best attitude.  Let me say a few things before I share with you how one guy flushed away literally tens of thousands of dollars within one hour!  This blog is designed to give you some ideas to help GROW your business through experiences, stories, and ideas from not only me but you as well.  Read this story with the idea of checking  your attitude at the door when headed out to network.  Enjoy, I assure you “Sam” won’t.

So last week, I had the privilege of being the host at a Chamber networking dinner.  I was tapped to run the meeting and educate the members of some new idea to help increase productivity.  Easy for me as I had just written the vacation list post.  There was a member, we will call him “Sam”,there who sells commercial and personal lines of insurance.  Personally I have hired him on 3 different occasions and referred him too many times to count.  Total premiums paid to Sam by me directly?  Around 40,000.00.  He is a great Broker and one who I have been a big supporter of in and outside of the Chamber.   

At this meeting there were about 40 members and around 10 guests.  In my opinion the meeting was AWESOME!  Lot’s of interaction, good food and new faces.   As the host, I did my usual deal and came up with a little exercise to get people thinking of better ways to work.  I had them all write down the few things that would need to be completed if they were leaving the office on vacation for a month.  We then just wrote “To Do” on the list.  There were a lot more details that I will share if you are interested.  Shoot me an email if you would like. 

After the meeting was over, I was swamped!  People were saying that the exercise was one of the best ideas they had heard.  I was immediately asked to speak at two more events and the room was on fire!  I was very pleased to say the least.  EVERY SINGLE guest joined that night and the response cards showed it was one of the highest rated mixers.  I do NOT share this to brag, it was the other people in the room not me, who made it a great event.  This is shared only to set a scene for what I will forever remember as one of Sam’s costliest events of his life!

Sam came up to me while I was being showered with compliments by around 10 members and gave me a quick hello handshake.  All would have been fine had he just walked away.  Not Sam.  While all 10 or so people were saying how the meeting was awesome, Sam started in telling everyone that the exercise was an “absolute waste of time and that he was not interested in playing stupid games but generating new business”.  The reaction was kind of comical from my perspective.  Being attacked in front of a group by someone who clearly has the capability to send you business??  Really?  I decided to let Sam keep going as I was now more fascinated by how this exchange was going to play out.  Sam went after me, the exercise, the way I ran the meeting and even the Chair of the Chamber.  He was quite upset that the meeting was not just a walk around meeting.  His attitude was so awful that I can not even imagine the people standing around will ever speak with him again, much less hire him.  By the time I had left the room, Sam had just flushed not only any sales from me or people I know but also his relationship with me. 

Let’s quickly look at the big picture here.  It was 2 hours of Sam’s time.  He lost sales, referrals, ideas, and was put into the category of people I would NEVER do business with again.  In fact would stop business if I had the chance.  All because he opened his mouth and out dropped his bad attitude!  I am all for different ideas, and I was not looking for everyone to think it was a great meeting but negativity has NO place at an event.  Stay home if you think you might show up like Sam.  It will save you sales and relationships in the end. 

Please feel free to comment on any of the posts you read, We all benefit from them.

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  1. I am keeping my fingers crossed so I will never be a “Sam”! The post is a great reminder for anyone who is networking. I think I am one of those always positive types of people, constantly looking for the positive experiences around me. If for some reason I am off or just feeling like complaining I really try to keep that to myself. However I am not perfect! I know there have been times where I may have been a “Sam”… Maybe not to this extent but definitely similar! With that in mind I would think about extending some tolerance to the possible “Sam” in your life. Especially if this was the first negative experience with the person… We all have bad days right? If this was the first negative experience it might be worth talking to Sam and letting them know how this affected you and how they might look at this in the future. So possibly instead of cutting Sam out you might help him make a change that could have a positive impact on him for years to come!

  2. Your post reminds me of the following story, Casey:

    The Two Wolves

    A Cherokee elder was teaching his grandchildren about life.

    He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me… it is a terrible fight between two wolves.

    One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, hatefulness, and lies.

    The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, humbleness, kindness, friendship, generosity, faith, and truth.

    This same fight is going on inside of you, and inside every other person, too.”

    The children thought about it for a minute. Then one child asked his grandfather,

    “Which wolf will win?”

    The Cherokee elder replied…

    “The one you feed.”

  3. Ouch….gonna have to say, I’d handle it like Casey is on this one. If it were just one flippant comment meant to be comical but comes out negative, that’s one thing. But to try to belittle a speaker in front of a group, especially when that speaker is a good client of yours, is suicide to that relationship. If he’d be that self-centered and talk bad about you then, what would he say about you behind your back to a referral you may send him? Even if that kind of talk only comes out on Sam’s bad days, who’s to say when his next bad day will be? Cut the ties, Casey! Although I would actually make a point of calling him and letting him know exactly why you were cutting the ties. Thanks for sharing this situation….and Alan, I believe you might have a bad day and your comments may be a little “off” at an event (we’ve all done that!), but I’d never believe you’d be as extreme as “Sam.”

  4. Wow…. This is outstandingly great. I always knew you were exceptional and all of these ideas and comments just proves what an exceptional guy you are!!! I am so happy to see you helping people. Amazing insite to what works and what doesn’t. There are starving people out there needing your advice… keep feeding everyone and who knows what you will have happen to this world!

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