Following the event on 1/7/09, a week later I was contacted by one of the people who was at the event because he wanted to discuss his project in Uganda and to pick my brains on the best way to approach it.
I told him I was due back in London on 14 July, but had several meetings during the day and wondered if he could join me and my associates at an evening networking event organised by the folk at Business Action for Africa. He agreed and at the meeting he introduced me to two people that had been at the event of 1 July where I had met him but I had not had the chance to talk to them at that event.
What was significant about this is that the reason that we had not managed to talk was because like me they had been “caught up” in the two chaps tale about their project, and nearly three weeks after the event one of them was still very angry about this, specifically because she had not managed to meet other people as a result.
In the last thread I offered up a hypothetical scenario of these guys meeting 500 people over the course of the year that are unable to advocate for them, but here I was standing with 3 of those 500 including myself that makes it 4. If we each know at least 100 or so possible people to refer them to..
This is scary stuff if we work on the assumption that Word of Mouth is a very important if not vital sales tool? The significant point here is that everyone remembered who they were and what their company was called, but the mentioning of their names and company had people “pulling faces” in anger!
How about that! I would certainly hate to be in that situation.
I would like your help to unpack this please, and here are some questions for starters!
Should we hold these guys responsible for the fact that we were unable to speak to the people we wanted to at this event?
What is the best way to handle such situations?
How can we avoid this situation in future?
How can we ensure that people remember us for the right reasons and want to refer us to their contacts etc?