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Last month while conversing with a Toastmaster I inquired about a fellow Toastmaster.  I was told he had lost his job.  In another meeting I was told that another fellow toastmaster had migrated to Canada considering his kids had moved out for higher education.   This got me thinking, how well do I know my fellow Toastmasters, how well do I know them beyond the precincts of Toastmasters meetings?

Toastmasters is a community of members working towards excelling in life.  Which other fraternity has such a powerful minded community of people?  I could think of no other.  And then I was promptly reminded of Sales phrases Upsell; Cross Sell; Low hanging fruits and so on.   

Low hanging Fruits: Coming from a Sales background I realized that I was connecting with fellow Toastmasters at TM level only i.e. what role they were playing and their Toastmasters journey, nothing beyond that.   This networking road map was obvious and did not require extra effort.  Rather I was plucking LOW HANGING FRUITS.   I was not UP SELLING, I was not connecting at a professional level.  I was not Cross selling, I was connecting at a social level.

When I sat down to introspect; we have over 100+ clubs in UAE and considering a membership status of around  20 members per club, the total membership should around 2000 members.  People pay premium to attend networking events simply to exchange business cards; whereas at TM  club meetings we have an opportunity to connect at a much deeper level.

My message is that networking is a powerful tool, provided we network beyond TM activities.  Because networking is not only shaking hands, exchanging cards or chit chat.  Networking is finding gold while helping other people succeed.  So why pluck the low hanging fruits? Why don’t we CROSS SELL i.e network at a professional level.  Why not UPSELL i.e. what stops us networking at the Social level.

The next time you participate in a club meet, arrive 30 minutes early and

  • CROSS SELL ie. Network at a professional level.  Connect with 5 TM’s at a professional level.  Find out what do they do professionally, how did they got into their profession, what skills are required to be in their job and finally how you can help them grow.
  • UPSLL i.e Network at a social level.  Agree to meet at Starbucks for a cup of coffee and nurture this relationship into a familyet together.  Ask how you can be of help to his family.

Maturing from LOW HANGING FRUITS to CROSS SELL and UPSELL is 360* networking.  And remember, UAE has around 2000 Toastmasters whereas globally there are 292,000 members in more than 14,350 clubs spread in 122 countries.  POWER; Use it or lose it.

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