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My Close Encounter with a Hungry Networker

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I recently attended a small private seminar held by an accomplished master keynote speaker.  The ambience was very laid back and you got a very serene peaceful feeling from his humble home where he holds these seminars.  The atmosphere is very inviting and you almost feel like you’re home.  From the minute you take off your shoes and walk in, you are offered a morning beverage of your choice: coffee, specialty tea or water.

I entered the warm home and found myself a spot to sit among the other attendees, of which I counted 15.  The atmosphere was definitely low key networking but in a way I have never experienced.

The Seminar Starts

The seminar finally got started and everyone was very attentive to the information, lessons, and anecdotes provided by our seminar leader.  The man himself is a true giver, unselfishly gives of himself to help others prosper.  Through the morning hours I learned shortcuts that would in all honesty, probably take years to learn through trial and error.  This was absolutely a backstage glimpse into how to promote and get booked for public speaking.

When it was mid-morning, the speaker then focuses on the attendees and asks everyone to say why they are there and what they would like to accomplish.  The answers were all different.  For some this was a very personal affair.  For some, enlightening.  At times, this event felt like some mini-retreat and self-awareness session.  And I’ll venture to say, it had a therapeutic effect for some of the audience members.  But, for some, this was a chance to try and score a new prospect!

The Hungry Networker Reveals Himself

One of the attendees was honest in stating the reason he attended, which was to network and meet new prospects and hopefully sign up some people.  At this point he stood out as the most unattractive being in that living room.  The alterior motive and the hidden salivating were starting to show through.

After the seminar the attendees are encouraged to network amongst themselves and discuss the finer points of the seminar.  It was at this point that the hungry networker sniffed me out as “his competition”.  (Yikes!)  I didn’t and I normally don’t promote my business as an in your face insincere show of interest in what you do.  And that’s what began to unfold right in front of my very eyes.

You see, I was speaking to a very nice lady with whom I wanted to know more about her business because it correlates to mine.  But once the hungry networker smelled that I was in the same business he made himself “present”.  You know what I mean, they just come around and start joining the conversation, and not that I mind, but they join to “take over”.  He didn’t want to loose a prospect at this event.  (Whew!)

I quickly realized that the hungry networker was going to “move in” on the conversation I had started.  And with all the finese of an elephant in ballet shoes he set out to establish a “rapport” with his future prospect.  I just moved on and felt sorry for abandoning that nice lady.  But, she did appear very with it and intelligent and his modus operandi must have also been obvious to her.

The Irony

A short while later, as I was saying my good-byes to the beautiful host and hostess of this very interesting seminar, I happened to over hear a brief snippet of a conversation the hungry networker was having with new potential prospect and another female attendee.  Mr. Hungry Networker was waxing poetic about how he doesn’t need personal development or motivational books.  He pretty much implied that the people who do read these books, well, that they are off center somehow.

This was coming from a man who had earlier stated to a group of strangers that he had been in transistion the past 20 years.  What does that mean?  Can’t hold down a job?  Not finding your true calling?  What exactly does it mean?  But, here he is appearing to be desperate about promoting his business.  His last chance to right a life time of poor choices and decisions.  Maybe it’s not quite this scenario, but that’s how it came across.

But the irony of it all is this.  Here he is speaking ill of personal development and motivational speaking or speakers, when the network marketing business he so promotes, at its core, promotes personal development.  Yes, the business he promotes at its core promotes personal development and appreciation.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that if you are going to promote a vitamin company, you should not go around saying that vitamins are just for “wussies”.  There’s a slight contradiction, don’t you think.

Hungry Networker Entraps Himself

And how is anyone going to take you serious?  The hungry networker sabotaged himself because he is not passionate about his business, he is passionate about making a buck off of as many people as possible.  So that is why he behaves that way.  He may score a few people here and there, but he is the reason that people sometimes come to hate network marketing, because a Hungry Networker schmoozed them into the business and then left them to fend for themselves.  Too bad for his victims and too bad for the honest network marketers.

But, I survived my close encounter with this Hungry Networker.  And I hope that you will also be able to spot him in a networking jungle.  They blend in with the crowd, a wolf in sheeps clothing, but beware!

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  • Nika

    Thank you for this article! I sit in my meetings at work and often feel like everyone is overdoing themselves and I'm in the education field. Well that's my day job. I want to be an a genuine, humble networker; however, it is uncomfortable to be a hungry, full of self one!!!!

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