Mike Veny: Your Top Priority When Meeting Someone New

Mike Veny Drums

This is a guest post by entrepreneur, professional drummer, speaker, and consultant, Mike Veny.

A few years ago, someone approached me at the Small Business Summit. Although I don’t remember the exact words of our conversation, here’s how I recalled the beginning of our conversation:

Woman: “I love your pink Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers.”
 
Me: “Thanks.”
 
Woman: “I bet you get lots of compliments on those.”
 
Me: “Sometimes… pink is my color. I really wanna get pink sparkle ones.”
 
Woman: “It takes a really confident man to wear pink. So what do you do?”
 
Me: “I’m a drummer. I hit stuff and people pay me money.”
 
Woman: “That sounds fun. I own a social media company. We should set up a time to talk about your social media plan. I have tons of musician clients who I’ve been able to help grow their presence on Facebook, etc.”
 
She proceeded to go on and on about herself and her social media company. Although she was a very nice person, this felt fake to me because I felt like she used a compliment just to get my attention and pitch her service to me. Needless to say, she didn’t get my business.
 

Complimenting my pink sneakers got my attention, but it felt like a pitching pick up line. Whether it’s at a networking event, a cold call I receive, or someone who approaches me on the street, I find myself turned off by “pitching pickup lines.” It’s almost as if my social radar alerts me internally by saying, “SALES PITCH…STEER CLEAR!”

Pitching, when done right, is kind of like flirting. When I think of the stereotypical scenario for traditional flirting, I picture a guy a approaching a girl with a really good pick up line. Done at a bar, this may lead to something, but more often then not, the result is rejection, laughter, and a dirty look. (Just being honest guys) If flirting isn’t about “pick up lines”, then what is it about? Effective flirting is accomplished by making someone feel comfortable and good about themselves in your presence. I also believe that this is the key to effective pitching.
 
Here are 3 ways to make people you meet feel comfortable and good about themselves in your presence:
    1. Learn to be comfortable in your own skin. When you are comfortable with yourself, you naturally attract people to you. This is a process that takes time, attention, and maybe even some counseling.
    2. Approach people only inf you are really interested in them. Notice that I didn’t say, “show interest” in other people, but be interested. People can pick this up a mile away. “Showing interest” is fake and people pick it up right away.
    3. Stay focused on the person you are talking to and make them feel important. Whenever I saw one of my clients at an event, I noticed that he was always 100% focused on the person he was talking with, as if no one else was in the room. He has a reputation of making everyone feel important. I asked him how he got so good at making people feel so important. His response was, “Because when I’m talking to you, you are the most important person to me.”
It’s important to remember that we live in a time when people are bombarded with sales pitches and advertisements from the moment they wake up in the morning until the moment they fall asleep at night. Because of this, people are more guarded then ever before. John Jantsch said that it’s important for people to know you, then like you, then trust you. This is why making people you meet feel comfortable is so important.
 
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou
 
Master the 3 suggestions above, and pitching will be effortless. In meeting new people, if you discover where to buy pink sparkle Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers, then please let me know. If these tips help you find a romantic partner, even better.
 
*Drummer, entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, Mike Veny has been able to parlay his love of music, and of drumming in particular, into multiple successful career paths and charitable endeavors.  For more information on Mike Veny, visit MikeVeny.com. Mike Veny is sponsored by Gretsch Drums & Toca Percussion.
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14 thoughts on “Mike Veny: Your Top Priority When Meeting Someone New

  1. Thanks @MikeVeny for sharing your expert advice! Great to call out those unpleasant pitches for what they are – cheesy pitching pickup lines!

  2. Thanks for addressing this, Mike. I feel a lot of times people are so concerned with making a sale solely for their company that they will do whatever it takes to try to meet a quota. Sometimes they really don’t get to know your situation. When this happens, I always turn off after 15 seconds into it.

  3. Veny, you have ALWAYS been Authentic, Transparent, and UNapologetic. This article forwards that impression. Now, the “BRAND” of “I hit stuff and people pay me money… that is PURE GOLD.

  4. Great article! I hate being “pitched” to and immediately shutdown, great advice for people that are just learning the networking game and a great reminder for us vets!

  5. Thanks, Mike! Something I continue to learn about from your example and your blog posts is the value of Step 1, self knowledge. Step 3 comes more and more easily with the discipline of Step 1. From a different perspective: I know that some of us are still developing an understanding of how our skills as performing artists (for example) are an aspect of our business product. For those of us who need it, then, this article is a good reminder to follow through on so many genuine Step 2’s where we can forget what our product is!

  6. Love this Mike! I’ve found the same to be true at times with the “spam” filed comments I get on my blog. They ask a question and you look to see where it’s from and think to yourself, uhm, nope don’t even wanna go there. lol

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