“If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there.” – Martin Blank
“braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaains” – every zombie
In almost every tv show or movie about zombies, there’s always some MacGyver type trying to find a cure that runs the same experiment:
– Have zombie in cage
– Bring brains near zombie, watch zombie get happy
– Move brains away from zombie, watch zombie get pissed off.
We had a zombie show up at our recent Pink Slip Party event.
And I had a great time being MacGyver…
We cannot possibly be any more up front, open and honest about who we are, what we do, and what we’ll tolerate. More importantly, we’re even more up front and honest about who we’re not, what we don’t do, and what we won’t tolerate.
We created a whole, dedicated category of “Things We Hate“.
We’ve got over 70 entries titled “Don’t Be That Guy”
Our About Us page gives you a long list of “You shall not pass” types of people that should never, ever come to our events.
Apparently we forgot to add “zombies”…uhh, I mean “Scumbag Financial Advisors” to that list.
Now don’t get me wrong here…not all financial advisors are scumbags. Just like not everyone that dies turns into a zombie.
But That Guy…the one that showed up at our event?
I knew it was going to be a fun conversation when I overheard Jen, who was helping us with the registration table, say “Uhhhh…I don’t know…you’re probably going to want to talk to Dave…”
So I turned and introduced myself.
Then I asked what he did.
“Financial advisor, and I’d like to talk to people about their 401k’s and…” he said.
“Ah,” I interjected, “this is not the group for you.”
He looked like I had just physically slapped him.
“What do you mean…not the group for me?” He was getting snarly. I was taking the brains away.
“I think it’s a pretty self-explanatory statement…this…is not…the group…for you.”
He shuffled towards me, and attempted to get all buddy-buddy and conspiratorial-like with me as he asked “But don’t you think…that maybe…you know…some of these people might have 401k plans that they need help with, or that they might want to talk about…” He really, really wanted those brains…uhhhh, “leads”.
“Maybe,” I said, “but not here. Not now. Not at this event.”
“But I thought…,” and he paused…because, you know, that pause makes all the difference in the world and adds so much weight to your words, “that this was a networking event to help people. I help people.” He was sounding all happy again. He thought he was getting closer to the brains.
“You thought wrong,” I explained. “This is a networking event…for information technology professionals who want to meet and talk with other information technology professionals and maybe find a new job or hire someone along the way.”
“Well how do you know,” he snarled, “that this isn’t the group for me?!”
I looked down, and realized my badge was backwards. So I turned it back around, and said “Because this is my group…and I’m telling you one last time, this is not the group for you.”
“Well!” he humphed, “I’ve been going to networking events for thirty years…and nobody has ever made me feel unwelcome before.”
Because when all else fails, play the guilt-trip card. Sure, that’ll work.
So as I closed this off with “Obviously you’ve been smart enough to stay away from our events until now. Have a good night.”, I watched the zombie shuffle back towards the stairwell and off to roam the streets of Royal Oak until it found a victim to prey upon.
But our members’ brains were safe for now.
No zombie apocalypse is going down on my watch.
The capper to this is that I was able to demonstrate just 15 minutes later that we’re not jerks, we’re not unhelpful, we’re open to partnering with people, and we’re certainly not unwelcoming to people…if they approach things properly.
Because literally like 15 minutes later, this happened: Walt, the general sales manager at Matthews Hargreaves Chevrolet stopped in and found me at the registration table. He immediately said “Look, I know this isn’t for me, I know this isn’t a job fair, I know this isn’t something I’m going to come in and wander around and bug people at…but here’s my card, and if there’s any way we can get involved with your events, we’d really like to do that.” …and then left.
How hard was that?
And guess what – I kept Walt’s card, and I’m going to touch base with Walt to see what he has in mind. Who knows? Maybe we can wrangle some cool stuff for the group.
Because Walt wasn’t a zombie.
UPDATE: Best part? This has been live less than an hour. In that time, I have already given out Walt’s information to two people who are looking to buy a car, and said “Hey, I’ll talk with them since they get it, give me Walt’s information please.”