We Both Benefit If You Tell Me When I’m Wrong

Tyler’s question, May I Tell Him He’s Wrong? was about her appropriate response to a Visitor who prospected her. I used the mental model from Bullseye Networking to show she didn’t owe him the courtesy.

Tommy Schlosser commented that my answer was ineffective in a Team context – Members owe each other credibility conversations – even when they’re uncomfortable.

“I can agree that the merchant is at the graze level . . . but I think Justin’s scenario should be handled differently. At some stage  . . . you say ‘I care enough about you to tell you . . .  even though it may risk our relationship.’ It can be hard to judge if a relationship is there and if this singular thing is worth mentioning . . .

Revisit the Bullseye for a moment:

Level 1 – Graze – is drive by networking. Meet someone, they give you a card, the next time you look at it you have no idea who they are.
If there are any of these guilt-producing cards in your upper left drawer throw them away already. There’s no money there.


Level 2 – Grin – you remember them when you see them, though you may not remember their name, or much about them.

It takes five touches – plus or minus 2 – to move from Graze to Grin. The fastest way to move is by finding out what you have in common.
Maria Hall organized a Valentine’s celebration for the women of PowerCore, and we practiced this tool: two women found they’d both been to Copenhagen; two found they were born in the same Atlanta hospital; two found they lived across the street from each other — really!!!


Level 3 – Greet – you’ve met them enough times, frequently enough, to remember their name, but not much else.

Recognize them in a restaurant and you’ll breeze by the table, say hello while shaking hands and with your left hand patting them on the shoulder saying “keep your seat”. That’s the Greet level. You wouldn’t ignore them, but you don’t have anything to have a conversation about.

The key thing is: there’s no money at the Graze, Grin or Greet levels.important
Worse – people we leave at Greet send business away.
It is our imperative to move from Greet to Generator.
Level 4 – Generator – responds to a request with endorsement and action.
A client mentions they are switching CPA firms this year.
They’ve met Len Nelms, and they’re thinking of using him. 
Len’s Generator responds quickly, with a smile: “Len is terrific, he’s the best, you’ll feel confident working with him. In fact, I have to call him myself this afternoon – would you like me to have him call you?”
The hallmark of a Generator is endorsement and action: “he’s the best, I’ll have him call you.”
Say the same words to someone who has Len at the Greet level
and they’ll respond . . . with a pause . . . and then,
with a tilted head, in a questioning tone, say “Yes. I know Len.”
Immediate question, “Well, who do you recommend” and – ouch for Len.


Here’s the thing: Tommy’s right.
The way to get to Generator in other people’s bullseye is to treat them like a Generator in yours.


My days are a glorious puzzle of people interactions. I alluded to (here) the story of a professional who wasn’t invited to join a Team because he wore flip-flops to the meeting. Everyone agreed both that

  1. he was the most knowledgeable candidate, and
  2. they could not risk him showing up to a referral appointment with their client in beachwear.
No one told him.
He’d attended two meetings.
The person who told me didn’t even remember his name!


On January 9 I replied to an email from Xalia.
Immediately an out-of-office bounced back:

Please note that I will be out of the office Wednesday, December 7th through Wednesday, December 14th with limited email and voicemail access. 


Three weeks since she returned to her desk.
Do you think I was the first to see that she hadn’t turned off her auto-responder?


Telling wasn’t hard,
I just clicked reply and wrote, “Hi Xalia – check your out of office message, below.”


She returned with, “You have got to be kidding me. Oh that’s terrible. Okay, I’m humiliated. Thank you sooo much. You’re the first to tell me. Kindest Regards.”

If Xalia was mapping on a bullseye, every person she’d emailed between December 15 and January 9 would be at the Greet level, or farther out, because not a single one of those people were willing to tell her something they would have wanted her to tell them.


Here’s the good news: if you’re a Member of Tommy’s Team, he’ll tell you.

Just being a Member of his Team means Tommy puts you at the Generator level and is willing to risk a bit of discomfort to say “Inside a PowerCore Team our goal is not to sell to each other – it’s much bigger than that – our goal is to build the credibility to be willing to refer clients to each other. Don’t worry, Members will choose to do business with you, because they’ll see your credibility and select you. A sales pitch will slow that down, and slow down their referrals to you, too.”


The response you give determines whether he’ll initiate a second informative conversation or whether you’ll move out to Greet or Grin in his bullseye.


Here are two action items, and two questions:

A1Who could you have a Generator conversation with?
Q1 What would you tell them? How would it make a difference to them?
A2Asking someone for their opinion is a way to show respect. It moves them to the Generator level.
Q2Who could you ask? What would you ask? What benefit could you get from knowing?

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