Monday, 27 July 2015

Networking: How being nice can be the best tool

Being nice doesn't stop you being dynamic
Since I set up my business six years ago I've been invited to many networking events. In the early days of trying to get The Pamperbox and Nicky Rockets up and running I went to quite a few general networking events and also a few more specialised meetings aimed at designers.
As with all things some of these get together's were more useful than others. The old school breakfast networking events were frankly just a bit depressing. A mish mash of people all trying to sell their ideas and services to each other and ramming business cards in each others faces before moving on to the next disinterested party.
Being nice is actually a good business strategy
What struck me more than anything was how once some of these so called "movers and shakers" realised that you probably wouldn't be of any immediate value to them the smile would quickly slip from their faces and their eyes would start scanning the room, eager to move on to somebody more useful. 
Early on this instilled in me the fierce belief that being successful in business is not just about networking with the right people but also about being nice in general.
Now I understand that being focused is a huge key in running a well oiled company and that life can't be all raindrops and and kittens, but (and this is a big but) somewhere along the way we were sold a version of what it takes to succeed in business which I think is frankly a bit naff.
Maybe its seeing Sir Alan Sugar bullying his way through the Apprentice week in week out but it seems rudeness and ruthlessness are the new black and its usually most prevalent in those who actually aren't that successful but are climbing up the slippery pole.
The Betty Pamper business school-open for tea,cake and manners
Its been my experience that networking is actually just shorthand for "meeting people" if you treat people with respect and courtesy regardless of the fact they may or may not help your business its like a giant boomerang effect. The good will bounces right back. 
Prioritising your charm and e-mail replies to those you think are "important" is incredibly short sighted from a business point of view. My business referrals have come from so many weird and wacky places often from chance encounters with strangers. 
If you love what you do you should be happy to chat about it with anyone and its simply manners to reciprocate. If someone approaches you for advice, or to suggest a collaboration it takes two minutes to reply even if you know what you are being asked isn't to your immediate benefit.Being dismissive or rude is a sure sign you are believing your own hype and should maybe have a reality check.
For years I worked in huge corporations in management for companies such as Granada TV, the Mirror Group and Sony and have witnessed varying kinds of business styles and I'm yet to see anything which convinces me that acting like a shark, or being rude makes you anymore effective as a professional. It does however make you appear to be a bit of a tool.A very wise friend once told me "be careful who you s**t on on the way up, chances are they will be interviewing you for a job on the way down" 
So don't just "network" be nice with it. The results could surprise you.










This weeks Plus size fashion picks











 

                                          

Big News at  Nicky Rockets  we have just brought out our Curvy As Hell Tees in a range of poptastic colours. Limited stock so be quick.








And if that wasn't exciting enough we have also launched a new plus size yoga inspired design 





Only £15,designed and made in the UK my tee shirts are  a celebration of the power of the curvy woman.Available in sizes small-5XL in a range of cuts and styles Shop here


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31 comments:

  1. Lovely post Betty! :) And so very true. I worked freelance and the amount of aggressive tactics for PR that was expected of me and I witnessed at business events was astounding. One of my best clients was a bit like Alan Sugar! Thankfully not toward me.

    Here's to being nice and living our lives well for it.

    mammyjane.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Its amazing how rude people can be and it becomes the culture of certain work enviroments I think. Its only once you step away that you realise how toxic it is x

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  2. Totally true. There is no need to be aggressive I find. Just being smiley and friendly and APPROACHABLE works wonders :)

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    1. Doesnt it just-whats the saying "easier to catch flies with honey than vinegar"

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  3. This was really helpful to read. I very recently left my day job and am in the process of starting my own cake related business. However, there are other things I'd really like to dip into but was worried that I might seem silly and frivolous (although I am working that to my advantage with my blog hehe). I struggle with worrying about how I appear to others and that I might seem quite...meek and mild because I'm not rude and scary!
    You're a big inspiration to me, so thank you.
    xx

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    1. I think sometimes people who are too full on can actually scare customers away. Its important to put clients at ease but a gentle disposition is actually a great selling point. It makes you appear calm and unruffled and trustworthy. Your business is all about you so make your personality traits inform the whole ethos. I imagine you will be very sucessful x

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  5. I've been out there performing since the tender age of 19, and sadly i've felt i had to toughen up somewhat. When I started I was very naive and sadly I did find I was getting used and dropped when it suited people so had to become somewhat more guarded and tough towards others.
    But I'm not rude about it, or using others for my personal gain.
    Alot of performers, promoters, photographers etc have mentioned to me how nice I am, which is lovely to hear but also makes me wonder why they are so surprised to meet a nice performer, and what they have had to deal with previously from others.
    It's getting that balance of tough no nonsense business lady right with being nice and polite to those you work alongside.



    milliedollar.blogspot.com

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    1. Its sad isnt it Millie how you start out in business so trusting and do have to grow an extra skin, but you are right you can strike the balance between being a switched on business woman and also being respectful and pleasent. You obviously do this and its wonderful that peoples lasting impression is not only that you are professional but a lovely person too.Its ultimately about treating people the way you would want to be treated. More people should take your lead xx

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  6. treat others the way you would like to be treated :)

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  7. This post rang true with me. Having left my day job about a year ago to set up a special needs nanny recruitment service, you wouldn't believe the amount of glazed eyes and disinterested snubs I have had from the so-called 'movers and shakers' you mentioned. But you never know which contacts will be the useful ones so an important motto to remember is 'it's nice to be important, but more important to be nice'. Surely a motto for life in general.) Many referrals now come in from colleagues of colleagues who remember my being 'nice' to them at a dreaded networking breakfast or similar. After all, we're all in the same boat when starting out in business.

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    1. Hi Lucy-your exspereince really sums up everything I beleive and what I was trying to convey in this post. Im so glad you get referals and not at all surprised that you being psotive and polite plays a huge part. Thanks for sharing xx

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  8. I'm in the photography business and have had a few setbacks because of some individuals' rudeness. But, I am getting there slowly, slowly. Most of my bosses have been absolutely awful and that's why I decided to get out and get on with my own stuff.
    The key I have found, is as you say, go gently and not be pushy. I find at times my whole self shaky when on the phone trying to promote my business. But I think not being too confident a good thing and always to remember 'be nice' and 'be genuine'.
    I so wish that I could come up to Liverpool on the 16 June, but sadly I am not able to. Will be thinking of you!

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    1. Maria you would be surprised how many people share your nervousness when having to self promote. Now Im self employed I always remember not only all the great stuff I learnt from working for other people but also the bad and try very hard not to repeat it. As you say being genuine is so important. xx

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  9. I agree wholeheartedly Betty. I was brought up to be polite and treat people with courtesy. I continue to use this approach in my career and the result is a good rapport with colleagues and frequent compliments from the members of the public I deal with daily. Kindness costs nothing, and what you give out is returned to you.

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    1. Rebecca that is such a great saying "kindness costs you nothing" and it sounds like this approach is serving you well xxx

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  10. I know what you mean I used to work in a bank and people treated us awful!! I hate bad manners!!! I'm having a give away too if you would like to take a look! Fliss xxx

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    1. I also hate bad manners and yet it seems almost he norm for so many people. Oh I will be sure to check out your giveaway xx

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  11. Lovely post, very true! I have spread the word about the giveaway on twitter, I'm @dannithegirl.

    Danni

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  12. This is something I can relate to, as I do a lot of networking and am always amazed how many people in business don't do as they say they're going to, even simple things like returning a phone call. Anyway, this post on The Happiness Project's blog about being a positive influence among your network may interest you: http://bit.ly/HSDHFN

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    1. its astounding isnt it taht people really can't even be bothered to reply to an e-mail or return a call. The most sucessful woman I ever worked for replied to every single e-mail usually within a few hours. I took my lead from this.Thanks for the Happiness Project tip-will go and take a look now xx

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  13. wonderful post! I've just found your page. Definitely sticking around :) x

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    1. Thanks Hannah-Welcome to my world xxx

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  14. I'm not part of the business world luckily, but I do think this is true of socialising in general. I recently detached myself from my high school friends for the simple fact that they were rude and aggressive. I do not want to be associated with such traits.
    My love of vintage has led me to some wonderful women, yourself included Bee, but I must say its a difficult circle to break into. Some people seem only interested in making friends if they gain something from you. I have nothing more to offer than my kindness but to be fair, its all I want in return.

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    1. Well stick yo your guns lovely. People who are only nice because of what it will gain them or who are dismissive towards someone because they dont think they are cool enough ultimately are cheating themselves of all the possibilities that a varied circle of freinds can bring. I have freinds who are into vintage and a ton more who are not-you will find your circle xx

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  15. Hear hear Betty Bee, well said. Manners cost nothing :)

    Jean x

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  16. I discovered your web site via Google while looking for a related subject, lucky for me your web site came up, its a great website. I have bookmarked it in my Google bookmarks. You really are a phenomenal person with a brilliant mind!

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  17. Great post hun, looking gorgeous as ever!! xx

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