Ah, the social experiments we all so much enjoy.
I was recently a participant at a business networking luncheon with some 120 sales people in attendance. All are sales people (not necessarily business owners) looking to network, prospect for new business, exchange business cards and contact information. In fact, all paid a fee to get in and to, specifically, develop new business relationships. To gain some traction with the new crowd my company offered a prize in exchange for coming to our table, exchanging contact info and filling out an email form (or, essentially, doing what most of the sales people came there to do). The prize was a brand new iPad mini (the 8 magic letters that, typically, create a stir during various giveaways I have done in the past).
Of course, I didn’t have to do the prize. The assumption was, of course, that everyone at the luncheon was there to network and build new relationships with potential clients anyways.
Now, a question. How many sales representatives do you think came up to my table to share their business card and/or signed up for the iPad giveaway?
The answer is 18. Yes, as it turns out just 15% of all sales people who came to network were actually there to network (and win an iPad along the way). How crazy is that? Let’s look at it visually.
Now, when the time came to announce the winner, the “winner” was nowhere to be found as she couldn’t stick around for a chance that she just might be the winner. So take that 18 and turn it into just 17. Now, we are down to just 14.16% of people who were willing to show up during the announcement and hear the name of the winner.
Then, of course, as expected a “replacement” winner was pulled out of the proverbial hat and the thunder of applause had exploded to congratulate him with his new iPad mini. No strings attached.
Now, Let’s Talk About The Business Side of Things
Needless to say, the 85% of non-participants did not get a chance to win the iPad or to get my company as their client. So what happened within the 15% group?
A Note on Success and Showing Up
Woody Allen once, famously, said that 80% of success is showing up and you would typically find his quote under “funny” or “humor” category on most known quote websites. However, humor aside, success, in fact, is about showing up, willing to take chances and participate (or create) business opportunities when everyone one else sits it out on sidelines. My social experiment was small but rather indicative. Take chances, go after opportunities and if it seems like there none left, create one for others as more and more doors will unexpectedly open. Don’t be discouraged if not everything goes as planned, don’t stay on the sidelines; simply do, simply act and when the opportunity presents itself, simply show up for a chance at success.
Authentic Startup, Author