Thursday, September 15, 2005

To Serve Man

My favorite episode of "The Twilight Zone" is one where aliens arrive on earth and are recruiting people to come back with them to their home planet. They treat the humans with great respect and they have have a book that they keep referring to called, "To Serve Man". Many of the earthlings are captivated with the space men, who seem to be treating them like gods, with the goal to deliver them their greatest desires.

Some however are skeptical of the whole situation. While crowds are lining up to go with the aliens, expecting to be worshiped, others question the motivation of the space travelers. Just has hundreds leave on the space ship to be taken into space, one of the humans runs out with a look of horror on his face. He has just finished translating "To Serve Man". He screams; "STOP....IT'S A COOKBOOK !!!!".

If you want to build a successful network of contacts that will lead to referrals and more business, you must go out of your way to "serve" others. Finding ways to selflessly help them will lead to others helping you. But your motivation must be sincere. If you are just doing it to get something in return, eventually someone will figure it out and expose you as a fraud. Your plan cannot be to devour the others.

In my book, "Some Assembly Required: How to Make, Keep and Grow Your Business Relationships" (New Year Publishing 2005), I talk about the "pork chop man". This guy is always out networking. Every time he sees a potential client, it is as if that person has a pork chop around their neck and he is a hungry wolf. Once he gets the business, or discovers the prospect is not really a prospect, he drops them and moves on. His motivation is not really to build a network based on mutual benefits..... it is to get business for himself.

To succeed at networking your motives have to be about mutual success, not just your own.

"There is a great man who makes every man
feel small, but the REALLY great man is the man who makes every man feel great."
- G.K. Chesterton

Have A Great Day

Thom Singer

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