Don’t Be That Guy: Salmon Style

Originally posted 2015-09-02 10:16:08. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

“If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there.” – Martin Blank, Grosse Pointe Blank.

“Dave, you write a lot about fish” – someone, at least once a month

A really weird thing that happens at our events is that people don’t seem to get the concept that we’re about making connections and building relationships between people.

You do that through actually talking with people.   That’s the point.  You show up, you hang out, you chat with folks, you ask questions, you get introduced around…that’s what our events are for.

So trying to be a salmon at one of our events probably isn’t the best idea…

bloat_pufferfishYes, I know, I started with The Pufferfish Effect.

And then I continued with The Betta Fish.

And yes, now we bring a salmon as another metaphor for ways to fail at networking.

Not sure if this theme is because fish make for really good analogies, or if I’m just craving sushi really hard right now…but let’s dive in regardless.

At a recent event, a company showed up with quite a few recruiters.  More than enough to saturate the room with coverage, which is great.  It was one of our larger Pink Slip Party events, and so it never hurts to make sure you can cover the entire room rather than relying solely on people coming to you…particular if you’re not one of the sponsors who were all in booths or at tables set aside for just such a purpose.

They weren’t content to just work the room…no, they wanted to be salmon.

salmonstyleSee, salmon are pretty messy and indiscriminate breeders.

The chick salmon floats on over, and lays a mass of eggs on the ground…

…and then along comes random dude salmon…

…and, well, let’s just say that Maury Povich would never, ever run out of “You ARE the father” segments if he sprouted gills.

But just because this indiscriminate cycle happens to work well for salmon doesn’t make it an effective networking strategy.

After all, do those two salmon ever get to know each other?  Do they ever help each other? Do they ever even have a conversation over drinks discussing life goals and career strategies?

No.  They fire and forget, and they probably never even meet.

So tell me what good it does to spray your business cards all across the bar in the hopes that someone random will come along and pick them up?

Are you just hoping that a Serial Networker will come by and grab one? (and if you haven’t read Don’t Be That Guy: The Serial Networker over at, now’s a good time to do so)

And even if you happen to be someone who comes along and finds said business card and picks it up…does it really do you any good?  Do you really have any more of an “intro” or “opening” with that other party than a random LinkedIn request that says “Hey, I see we’re in the same group?”

Hint: the answer is “no”.

We’ll even let you in on a little secret – when we find randomly flung piles of business cards laying around, there’s a strong possibility that they hypothetically might just wind up in the nearest pocket.  Until they can make their way into the nearest trash can.

Hypothetically, of course.

bear2But if you’re still not convinced that the salmon are doing it wrong, then let us hit you with this last piece of wisdom: both salmon die after that random exchange takes place.  Their lives are over, and they float lifelessly up to the surface to either rot in the sun or get eaten by a bear.

You don’t want to get eaten by a bear, do you?

Of course you don’t.

So Don’t Be That Guy, and go read something else:





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