Vultures and Elephants

Sometimes you go to business or networking meetings and you can see there’s a particular kind of person, can we call them ‘the Vulture’ who seems after one thing: the kill.

Think of ‘the Vulture’ who only has that one goal of going after the profit with nothing else in mind. You can probably think of someone that you’ve used the services and products of and never heard from them again.

Sometimes the modern world can make us more isolated and detatched but most people have realised that it’s not enough, we need human interaction and even that personal touch, even in business. Customers and clients, including yourself, are probably after more than cold transactional business dealings. Since we can all choose who to do business with and who we don’t, we can choose to have a different attitude when we are at networking meetings: do you have the ‘Vulture’ minset or are you an ‘Elephant?’

Don’t get offended! Elephants are empathic and work together for the benefit of the herd: when one is injured or hurt they all pick up the slack and when one dies they even mourn collectively. You see where this is going right?

The Vulture will tend to:

  • probably think of her/his benefit
  • focus more on the shorter term
  • chase their own needs, discouraging relationships and trust
  • use a logical approach, focusing on products and services to see sales
  • be ‘hunters’ to their ‘prey’
  • have a perceived cold approach to business
  • be concerned with the cost of things
  • see people as potential money

The Elephant will tend to:

  • set goals that are for the benefit of ‘us’
  • set collaborative long term goals
  • foster strong relationships and trust to thrive collectively
  • use a heart-felt, customer caring approach (which results in customer loyalty)
  • have a sharing mentality for mutual benefits
  • have a percieved warm approach
  • invest to see fruit later
  • see the value in people and show the value the Elephant brings to them

Both Elephants and Vultures have different attitudes and approaches to networking.

The Vulture will:

  • go to give their business card first and tell you about their business without really listening to others
  • go for the sell and then move on to their next conquest
  • not give much customer care: the sale is everything
  • only aim to meet the company’s finanical and business goals
  • expect to get referrals from others

The Elephant will:

  • ask others for their business cards, show interest what others are doing
  • share their products and services and follow up with the client soon after
  • genuinely care for their customer by keeping records of their interactions, remembering important pieces of information about the client (that may or may not be relevant to the transaction)
  • will have a wider attitude than just finanical gain such as commitment to clients and employees
  • gladly give referrals

Obviously the ‘Elephant Approach’ to business will see a longer lasting and stable way forward when you focus on others first.

How about next time you’re at a Networking meeting going on with these two questions:

  1. What can I learn?
    The depth of knowledge and experience may likely be greater than yours. Be a listener and glean what you can from the room: what principles could you adopt and what pitfalls could you avoid?
  2. How can I serve?
    From a local perspective, we can support each other by listening to what others need and being mindful with referrals to our business associates.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

 African Proverb

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