Are You Here to Brag or to Do Business?

It's not about you

I got the following e-mail (names have been replaced):

Subject: Meeting with Joe – Discuss our award for Best SuperWidget

I wanted to share the news that AcmeWidget is the 2009 QTZ Award Winner for Best SuperWidget.  I’d like to schedule a call with you to review some of the successes we’ve had in 2009 and how these lessons might be applied to your business.

Let me suggest a rewrite:

Subject: Meeting to discuss how our award winning SuperWidget can help you

QTZ just named AcmeWidget the Best SuperWidget of 2009 because of how companies used it to grow their social networks. I’d like to schedule a call to discuss how AcmeWidget can help you grow your business.

The first rule of relationship building is to focus on your potential partner.

We actually met this company last year. They came to a meeting with a bizdev guy itching to do a deal and their founder who was itching to brag. Several of us sat in the room stunned as the founder hijacked the meeting to repeatedly tell us how awesome his company was. The meeting might have ended with us getting close to a deal. Instead it ended with us swearing that we would never get anywhere near this company again, partially because we didn’t trust them to be considerate of our interests, and partially because we never wanted to be stuck in a meeting with him again.

If you need to talk about yourself, get a therapist, or a dog, or a blog that you don’t care about. Don’t sabotage your business because you can’t control your ego.

What do you think?

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