Monday, October 18, 2010
Why Do Business with a Sasquatch?
A looong time ago, I'm talking May 2009, I sketched a new character I named Señor Bigfoot. He's a latin Sasquatch, and at the time he wasn't very nice. See? Very grumpy. Anyway, he roamed the land in search of something, but what that was, he wasn't very sure. Being a lot bigger than most people, he stood out, and some people found him intimidating. They just didn't understand him or what he did, being a Sasquatch and all. So Señor Bigfoot, continued on being awkward and scared people off.
One day, he ran into a Cyclopee. For those of you who don't know, a Cyclopee is a little one-eyed bird. They come in all kinds of colors and they fly here and there looking upon what other people are doing. This particular Cyclopee happened upon Señor Bigfoot and he noticed what a hard time he was having in his search. The little bird approached the giant, hairy monster and said "hello". Señor Bigfoot wasn't very sure how to handle this. No one had ever greeted him before. Cyclopee didn't hesitate in asking about his journey and what he was all about. Señor Bigfoot was very happy and he went on to become a nicer Sasquatch. He finally found what he was looking for... a friend. After this experience Señor Bigfoot had an easier time at making friends and it made all the difference.
So what's the point? I was reminded of face-to-face networking over the weekend. In this world of social networking media, it's really easy to hide behind our monitors or iPhones and not have face time with other people. We forget that going to networking mixers or events are great ways to garner new business. It may be what you originally set yourself out for, but you realize that what you really need is friends. Some people show up like Señor Bigfoot did and make it a little awkward because they don't have the experience in networking or in talking about themselves, but it'd be nice if someone just came up and said "hello". Make it a point to go to at least one networking event a week. Google "networking mixers" or "networking groups" or contact your local Chamber of Commerce. Because you can read all day about networking online, but until you actually get out there and do it, you're missing out on great opportunities.
I had a hard time at first, having never done any networking, but some nice people took me under their wing and I paid it forward when I got better. They've become great business partners to me, but even better friends. Our mentoring sessions have led to great conversations and leads have been coming in steadily, but only because I made the point to do it first. So go out and meet some people and if you see a Señor Bigfoot having a hard time when you get there, say "hi" and make a friend. It's always nicer to do business with people you like.