"I felt like I had been sexually assaulted verbally..." That's how a colleague described an interaction with someone at a networking event recently. I was horrified. But I knew what she meant and could easily see how she might feel that way after a conversation with this particular man.
"That awful woman..." said another.
"That bloke knows everything about everything, I try to stay away from him..." is another phrase I hear frequently.
And, of course, the ubiquitous "He never stops trying to sell..."
I love networking - it is one of the biggest contributors to my own business growth. But I have my own horror story. One particular woman manouvred me away from the herd and cornered me so that it was almost impossible to get away. She then harangued me for 15 minutes about her new business without pausing for breath.
She didn't bother to ask me any questions about my business or to ascertain whether I might actually need her service. She just gave me her business card and launched into a monologue. Being quite a large lady, she was quite physically intimidating and she stood far too close for me to feel comfortable... but I had my back against the wall with nowhere to go. It was deeply unpleasant.
I was only able to escape due to the timely intervention of a very kind person, who recognised the situation and deliberately dropped something behind her to cause a distraction that made her look away from me. He told me later that he had had a similar experience with that woman and had to be rescued... he was paying it forward!
Since that first encounter, I have had many opportunities to watch how she can clear a whole section of the room as the herd of other business owners tries to move away from any possibility of contact with this predator.
But she seems totally oblivious that her behaviour is ruining any chance of getting value from her networking investment!
It made me wonder:
What don't you know that you don't know...
But, more importantly, how could it stunt your business growth?
Here's an example - would you tell someone that they had bad breath?
No, it would be rude.
So, would you recommend them to someone you met at a networking meeting?
So that person carries on thinking that they are fab and their breath is sweet and minty.
But it's not true. They don't know that their breath is bad. Worse, they don't know that they don't know and many people are not prepared to refer them.
So now take that online...
Are you doing something that is stopping customers from finding you?
Are any of your links broken, but your visitor is too polite to tell you?
Do any of your pages take too long to load. So, your visitors never see the good stuff. How many complain? None?
How many visitors are annoyed because your pages aren't optimized for mobile, but they just go to another site without telling you?
You may think all is well with your website or social media activity, but you could be shooting yourself in the foot without even realising it.
Want me to look? Start here.
Thank you, Jo!