Sunday, October 02, 2005

Care factor zero

I felt very special as I sat at my "Networking Table" at the last Marketing Association event. I was quite curious to see how a networking table would be different from any other table at an event like this. I still don't know.

As always, it was a good opportunity to meet people from different companies, but I was kind of surprised to see four people (or was it five?) from one company at this networking table.

Now I know there's safety in numbers, but this is ridiculous! If I were running a company and sent five people to an event, I'd make sure they had instructions to scatter. Imagine the opportunities five people could bring back from different tables!

But there's the rub, you need to have people that think that way, that have some sort of sales nous. And as I've discovered, it's not necessarily being a 'hungry' salesperson - in fact that puts most people off. It's just being very interested in... everything. Well, that helps.

Because if you're interested in everything, you'll at least be interested in the person you're talking to. And whether they're a future client, supplier, employer or employee, or just a nice person, you'll be better off for showing some interest.

But that's the sort of stuff you can't learn at school, or be told to do by the boss. It's something you need to want to do.

Meanwhile, in her job Marie (my wife) is training - trying to train - 18-year-olds in customer service over the phone. The most important thing - and the hardest - is trying to get people to care.

Life experience, it seems, is still the most valuable commodity out there in the human resources marketplace.

Here's to experience!


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