Network Like the Hoff – When Baywatch Meets Business.

Flowing hair and bronzed skin glowing in the sun, running in slow motion across a blazing hot beach is David Hasselhoff en route to save a drowning damsel, or retrieve a car stuck in the sand. The 80s was an awesome time for stunning sights and cheesy story lines; we need to bring back the heroics of the Hoff and Pamela Anderson to your next networking function.

Picture the scene: it’s early in the morning, freshly showered, well prepped and recently caffeinated, Jane enters a networking event for the first time and is looking forward to making contacts and meeting some great people who she hopes she can do business with.

Little does Jane know, Lurking near the beverage table, like a hyena waiting for a baby gazelle to wander just far enough away from her nurturing mother, is Barry, the Black Hole. He has a habit of ensuring that he drains the life and energy out of every person that he preys upon. Jane notices Barry’s smiling face so she welcomes his approach not knowing what will happen next. The Black Hole’s tactics are honed and systematic.

“Oh Jane, nice to meet you! So, it’s your first time here? what do you do?” Jane launches into her sales pitch and after only about two minutes into telling Barry about her ideal client the predator starts his attack. “Wow that’s nice, that sounds a lot like my business…” Barry begins to tear apart Jane’s will to live, piece by piece. A quarter of an hour passes and Jane begins to forget her own name or why she was even here in the first place. Barry continues to drain the energy from the room. Jane is doomed.

Wait! What is that running across the room? Is it a bronzed God? A Hollywood-esque hero? No! It’s what every networking group needs; a Black Hole Lifeguard, a saviour that lives within all of us. Luckily for Jane, Richard glanced across the room and noticed Jane’s glazed over eyes, blank facial expression and the cause: Barry’s predatory business attack. Richard steps up and rescues Jane using these 3 techniques, finally thwarting the vacuous pull of the Black Hole.

Here’s What you Need to do to be a Networking Hero:

1. Approach the scene of the attack and address the victim. “Hello again Jane! Oh, hello Barry.”
2. Begin to extricate Jane from the situation. “I am free now, sorry that we didn’t catch up earlier.”
3. Completely remove Jane from the pull of Barry the Black Hole. “Jane come over here, there’s someone that I think you should meet.”

Hero balloons drop from the ceiling, glitter falls all around you because you have just saved a life. If there was a t-shirt then you would be wearing it. “I am a Black Hole Lifeguard – no photos please.” Jane is just one of the many business people still alive on the networking scene due to the heroic acts of people like Richard.

Now that you can imagine the scene, your job is two-fold. If you are the Black Hole in the room, it’s not too late, you can change. There is a 12 step programme somewhere out there for you. If you are not, then it’s your turn to be as vigilant as our boys and girls in Yellow and Red and make networking great again!

Be a hero! Thank you, Hoff.