Networking like a dog

by | 4 minute read

Char­lie is my 12-week old pup­py (she’s a girl for those of you who assumed oth­er­wise).

As a first-time dog mom, I have tak­en note of Charlie’s habits, and in par­tic­u­lar, her friend­li­ness and abil­i­ty to speak with, con­nect to, and doggie-network with any­one and EVERYONE she cross­es paths with.

No hand­shakes – just tail-wagging and eye-to-eye con­nec­tion.

When we go on a walk, and Char­lie sees some­one else on the street, she imme­di­ate­ly runs over to them, sits down right in front of them, (wag­ging her tail excit­ed­ly) and looks up to say, “hi.”

The oth­er day, we were walk­ing towards the ele­va­tor and we encoun­tered a group of four peo­ple. Char­lie ran over, per usu­al, and then greet­ed EACH per­son indi­vid­u­al­ly. The peo­ple were just as eager to say hi to Char­lie as they were to be greet­ed by her.

After she’s made some­one feel good, she’s ready for them to reward her: Char­lie has a bel­ly rub addic­tion. She lays down with her tum­my side up, and most peo­ple rub her bel­ly.

The four­some and I had a 5‑minute or so con­ver­sa­tion.

PERSONAL REALIZATION: After 2.5 years of being in my con­do build­ing and see­ing these peo­ple numer­ous times, this was my first real con­ver­sa­tion that extend­ed beyond “hi” and “have a nice day.” I guess I could thank Char­lie for being a great ice-breaker, but what stopped me in the first place?

Here are some lessons you can learn from Char­lie, that will have you net­work­ing like a dog and earn­ing the rewards you deserve.

  • Do what your mom told you not to do: Talk to strangers. Char­lie is eager to chat with every­one. She sees every walk as a net­work­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty. Do you look for net­work­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties or are your eyes glued to your phone?
  • Con­nect on an emo­tion­al lev­el. Most peo­ple who meet Char­lie, start off by say­ing, “Awww!” She knows how to get to their hearts by giv­ing them pup­py kiss­es and mak­ing them feel good. How well do you get to your customer’s heart? Their emo­tions?
  • Cre­ate emo­tion­al dia­logue. When peo­ple final­ly look up at me, Charlie’s own­er, they wan­na tell me about their dog, or how they want a dog, or about when they had a dog.
  • Make them laugh or at least have pro­longed smiles. Char­lie makes peo­ple smile. The smile leads to relaxed and open con­ver­sa­tion. Peo­ple – com­plete strangers – even peo­ple in New York City, where no one talks to no one, will talk about dogs and life.
  • Be aware of and adapt to cul­tur­al dif­fer­ences. In Char­lotte, NC, every­one stops to say hi to Char­lie. In New York City, most don’t stop, but the ones who do, wel­come the oppor­tu­ni­ty to have a (brief) con­ver­sa­tion.
  • Focus on the per­son in front of you — Could you imag­ine a dog run­ning up to you to play and then get­ting on their cell phone? NO! Dogs have no tech­nol­o­gy and noth­ing get­ting in the way of their inter­ac­tion. Make your cus­tomer meet­ings are the same. Wag your tail and look peo­ple in the eye – put your phone next to your wal­let.
  • Don’t care about what you look like, let your per­son­al­i­ty take over. Look at Char­lie! She's naked.
  • Be a con­nec­tor. In your build­ing, in your neigh­bor­hood, and on your street. Even in a for­mal net­work­ing group. Char­lie cre­ates imme­di­ate friend­li­ness, open­ness, and she's approach­able — but she gives the sig­nal by wag­ging her tail first.
  • Don’t let the weath­er or out­side fac­tors con­trol your atti­tude. Char­lie doesn't care if it's rain­ing out­side or if it's 90 degrees and sun­ny. She is always ready to be hap­py. How does the weath­er impact you? What changes could you make so that you’re wag­ging your tail next time it rains?
  • No reward expect­ed. Char­lie is just gen­uine­ly excit­ed to con­nect and in return she gets reward­ed in many ways over and over again. Being friend­ly does have its rewards. Many peo­ple give bel­ly rubs, and for you, the equiv­a­lent may be a life-long rela­tion­ship, that leads to more busi­ness, true friend­ship, more refer­rals and more mon­ey. And keep in mind, Char­lie makes the con­nec­tion and the sale with­out say­ing one word.

Jen­nifer Gluck­ow blogs reg­u­lar­ly at Sales In A New York Minute.

©2017 Jen­nifer Gluck­ow and Sales in a New York Minute.

Jennifer Gluckow
Jen­nifer Gluck­ow has north­east­ern smarts and New York City savvy – a rare com­bi­na­tion that has her posi­tioned as the next big thing in sales. Okay, she’s not ALL New York. She’s trav­eled the world, was edu­cat­ed in the Mid­west, and has spo­ken to audi­ences from coast to coast. Jen’s Zen is her abil­i­ty to remain poised, calm, and ready in a busi­ness envi­ron­ment where speed is a pre­req­ui­site, and chaos is com­mon­place.
Jennifer Gluckow

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