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Marketing, can’t live with it, can’t live without it. Actually in the almost 12 years that I have been in business I’ve not done a great deal of marketing. I send out the odd random newsletter or targeted email to a specific person or group of people and that’s about it. Although I am about to have a go at my very first marketing exercise through the post. I’ll see how that goes.

Welcome to the Richard McCann blog. Most of my work as a Motivational Speaker and Presentation Skills Coach originates from someone either seeing me speak /train or someone who sees me then recommends me to someone. I guess my marketing is mostly me.

A few days ago I experienced a form of marketing that simply shocked me. I received a Linkedin request from someone working for a cinema chain. I believe we had a couple of mutual connections so I accepted.

A couple of days later Tram in which he explained that he had an interest in presentation skills as he used to have a stutter. He asked for me to give him a call.

I didn’t record the conversation so I can’t recall it word for word but he went straight for the jugular. He told me that he was looking for companies who have a large team of people, minimum of 100 who may want to purchase discounted cinema tickets to give to the staff as an incentive or thank you. He then asked how big my presentation skills sessions were. When I explained that they were usually no more than 12 he dropped the bombshell.

“I’m sorry that I’m not going to be able to help you”.

Firstly I did not ask for his help. All I had done was to accept his invite to connect and then return his unsolicited call.

And that really was the end of the call.

If he had taken just a little longer to get to know me he would have established that I have worked with over 2000 companies over the 12 years I have been in business. Many of those companies have staff in their thousands.

I told my friend Andy Lopata about this. Andy is a fellow professional speaker and the author of three books on networking, so I was interested in his insight. Andy told me, “The biggest mistake people make is to confuse networking with sales. In their mind everyone they interact with, whether online or face to face, is a ‘prospect’ for their business, a potential client.

Your experience demonstrates the very worst of that mindset and its cost. The lack of respect this person showed you, from misleading your PA when originally introducing himself, to being focused purely on what he could get and not give, to not showing any interest in you, has cost him far more than a single sale.

Cold calling is a numbers game, networking is about relationships. You may get a few quicker wins through cold calls but, when done like this, at a big cost to your reputation and integrity. Over the long term, strong relationships will open many more and much greater opportunities, as this person might have found out had he tried to get to know you before trying to sell to you.”

So there you have it. I’m sure that i’m not the first and no doubt will be the last. Lately I have begun to speak to those who ask to be connected on Linkedin. I ask them what brought them to me and was there anything in particular that they would like to connect for. Some do reply but the vast majority do not. Surprising really in this day and age.

What’s your experience?

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