infecting the competition

Power Networking: Infecting the Competition

The rooftop party had to end at eight because someone else had paid a LOT more money than me to secure the space.

We knew that someone downstairs had spent over fifty grand on a party, so we decided to check it out.

Unlike my exclusive get together, this party was open to everyone.

[easy-tweet tweet=”All warfare is based on perception.” user=”servenojonathan” hashtags=”servenomaster”]

This is my modification of the classic Sun Tzu quote, “All warfare is based on deception.”

Most people enter a party or any environment on their own.

I was in Bangkok at a conference where I knew less than one percent of the people.

When I'm in a crowd, I'm astoundingly unnoticeable.

It's very easy for me to walk past security because no one notices me.

Many people think of this as a weakness, but it's one of my greatest strengths.

It allows me to study a room and understand what is happening.

And that is how I've put together my DEEP knowledge of networking.

Man in the Crowd

Once I have put together my plan I want to be anything BUT anonymous.

I had a new team assembled.

Thirteen models.  My business partners.  And some new friends.

We walked into the room like we OWNED the place.

OK, it wasn't a room, it was a garden.

When you walk into a room surrounded by beautiful people, you get noticed.

I was in Cancun about eight years ago, and I noticed that every single guy was absolutely cut.

Six packs as far as the eye could see.

I was the only fat one.

And that means I was the exception.

The only outlier.

This is a fundamental principal.

When people see fifteen beautiful women and one average looking guy, they make a critical assumption.

They assume that the man is POWERFUL.

If I were good looking, they would assume it was my looks.

Bend Reality – Control Perception

Nobody assumes that the models are mercenaries.

Nobody thinks that I paid a group of women to hang out with me all night.

That is to my advantage.

So people see me walking into this party surrounded by beautiful women and looking like a rockstar.

This means that any stranger I meet approaches me UPHILL.

People can't see your bank balance, so they use other clues to determine your net worth and value.

For a long time, I wore a Rolex, but that was a total waste.

Very few people use watches to assess value and the ones that do are all terrible.

Interesting ALWAYS beats expensive.

When people see me surrounded by beautiful women, it creates the perception that I am unbelievably wealthy and powerful.

In this way, I don't have to convince people to do business with me.

I don't have to show them fifty projects I've worked on.

It's easier to close deals and people approach me.

I don't have to walk up to any strangers.

Back to Back Parties

A different company threw a party at the same location the following night.

Rather than two different posts, I'm going to mingle some stories now.

I had the same people and used the same tactic for both nights.

I told the models to start talking to guys and to bring me anyone that felt like they were rich.

I asked them to turn on their “gold detectors.”

These girls kept bringing me guys who had nothing to do with my industry.

But that doesn't matter.

Again we are manipulating perception.

What everyone sees is beautiful women walking through a crowd and bringing rich guys to come talk to me.

They walk up to me, which means I'm in the power position.

This is real rock star behavior.

I don't care about the guys I'm talking with as much as I care about what the crowd sees.

I'm creating a bit of mystique.

Closing Deals

I don't accept business cards anymore.

At some events, people who don't understand networking will spend the ENTIRE night handing out as many cards as they can.

I call this the shotgun approach.

If they pass out enough cards, one of them will hit a target.

I have no interest in this type of business.

I'm much more of a sniper.

I want to form singular relationships that have legs.

When I meet someone, I hand them my phone and make them type in their Skype.

This is the primary way online marketers communicate.

It's always a direct line of contact.

Every single person as this event was from a different country, so getting phone numbers isn't the best option.

Additionally, some people will give you an office line.

It's their automatic response.

I only want a cell phone number.

But Skype is way better.

People change phone numbers all the time, especially when they move from country to country.

But a Skype contact – that is forever.

The Infection

The idea of an infection is to get the competition working on your behalf instead of their own.

I walked out of these garden parties with TWO business deals with guys who ran the entire event.

They had way more real-world juice, but I created more value in the moment.

Manipulating perception caused them to approach me, buy me drinks and throw proposals at me.

These two garden parties cost well over 100k between them, and yet most people couldn't tell you the name of the person who threw them.

They have a weak strategy, which allows me to subsume.

They are focused on “brand building” which allows an outside force to come in and focus on a more specific goal.

If I wanted to brand build, I could just give away stuff with my logo.

No thanks.

If I spend a dollar, I want to make two back.

You don't have to walk into events following the rules or playing other people's games.

I recommend that you DON'T do that.

Instead, look for ways to bend reality and become more important than the person throwing the event.

You aren't trying to hurt their efforts, but you are seeking maximum advantage.

When people leave opportunity on the table, you might as well pick it up.

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