Archive for the 'Sales and Marketing' Category


Degrees of Invitation

We’ve all been there; at a party or a wedding or a networking event or a bar where you feel as if you just don’t quite fit in.  You’re sitting there on the coach or perched in one of the less favorable spots of the bar near the trash can in the corner.  Sipping the crown and coke viciously, not because it’s that good or because you think that a little liquid courage will spontaneously ignite you in a conversation, but because it gives you something to do there in the corner by yourself or with the one friend you came with.

– The worst part is that it’s usually not like this.  Usually, you’re big pimpin’ it with a group of 8’s, laughing it up by the bar about something clever you’ve just said.  On some nights, at the old home-town parties, you’ve even been the center of attention; the axis on which the party spins.  You were the Invitor of the gathering and not just a degree of invitee.

For a party, which is probably the easiest explainable example, the Degrees of Invitation are simple:

1. If you were directly contacted by the Invitor, then you are a first degree invite.

2. If your friend was directly invited and you arrive with him / her, then you are a second degree invite.

3. If you are the friend of a friend of the Invitor, then you are a third degree invite.

Thereon, hypothetically, a friend of a friend of a friend would be a fourth degree and so on; but parties with more than ‘6 or 7’ 3+ degrees of invitation at a single party are rare.  Why?

Because ‘we don’t talk to people we don’t know.’  We are taught from a very early age, “don’t talk to strangers.”  Our group is a Meet the Parentsesque “circle of trust” with an invisible barrier set up on behalf of the group so as to preserve it and keep it in it’s own benign little culture.

Subconsciously and by the way we dress and speak in our native slang we, as members of our group, reject those who are new and those who differ from us in any sort of way.  We pick them apart behind they’re backs, saying that they are weird or we call them yankees or freaks or socia’s (The Outsiders) or, especially if you live in the south, much more discriminating names.   We click together and ignore the others on purpose as in order to be included in that covetous in-crowd.  For here must be outcasts on behalf of the insiders; but there is an exception.

Introduce the High Five Scale of Acceptance.

For years, when going out or to parties, I’ve noticed a direct relationship to the good time I have to the number of high fives I get.  Of course, I’ve considered the idea that maybe I’m just wierd (pun intended) to this effect and it’s just me, but I know, on some level, we all do this.  Of course we do.  We love to be loved; to any degree, we need to be accepted and known and have some sort of history with others so as to feel comfortable with ourself while speaking to them.

For the very act of feeling “out of place” is feeling unwelcome.  Sure, the literal act of a high five can be replaced with whatever sub-cultural norm it is for greeting someone in your socio-economic age group.  Still, the gesture of a warm, familiar greeting embarks in anyone confidence to socialize with others whom he didn’t know previously.  They (easy high fives) are like layups for a white boy in pickup game.  I practice it almost superstitiously and so has anyone who has ever been “fashionably late.”  Sometimes I’ll even schedule a ‘forgotten phone in the car’ or ‘need to stop to tie my shoe’ just to have a reason to come in to the bar a little bit after my friends and trade high fives and smiles and an exageratted “WUSSSUPPPP” and laugh ferociuosly at myself not only because it’s fun but because it’s cool.

It’s cool to be fashionably late (within the last 30%, but not the last 10% to arrive) because most of the could-be High Fives that you potentially have there, are there.  So you show up 45 minutes late and grab three easy high fives off the rip and your confidence is souring.   Now that you’ve made an easy cherry-picken hoop or two, the group will be more inclined to figuratively pass you the ball and you can run with it all night long.  It is in this way that we tend to accept the accepted and that is how entrance to groups is gained and so how groups grow.

But what if your a 3rd degree invite talking to mostly 1st and 2nd degree’ers?  There will be resistance, sure; unless you’ve grabbed a few High Fives as soon as walking in the door.  After a certain point, 3rd degree invite who gets x high fives, will become more popular at the party than even the Invitor.  This phenomenon could be called “The New Kid in Town” effect.  How many High Fives does it take to gain access to The Group?  How does the High Five Scaler of Acceptance (HFSA) measure up versus the Degree Of Invitation (DOI)?

It’s a good question, but it’ll take some more observation before I assert an honest equation.  Until then, it’s relevant to consider the people who you bring along to parties; for introductions and business associates alike.  Any good salesman knows that there is a certain pecking order needed to follow in order to get to the top of the pyramid.  He knows that it is necessary to solicit an invitation from, say, the maintenance manager prior to gaining an audience of the head of engineering.  Further, he understands that if he can build a history with the former and his collegues, then acceptance from the later will be more easily gained.  The degrees of invitation may shape one’s social circumstance, but they don’t have to; not if you play the game right and cool and enthusiastic, all at the same time while continuing to Bee yourself.

Meet more people.

Have an abundance of experience with them all.

Don’t hate, love the game and play it well.

Do More Now

Parenthesized Afterthoughts: (This idea began on a post from my old blog, entitled, The Friendly-Shady.  I’ve linked them so as to link the old MSV to this one.  Within the coming months, in business and in life, I’ll be sure to observe and post on the relationship of the High Five Scaler of Acceptance to the Degree of Invitation.  The economist in me already has a graph plotted.  Until then…)


Blarketing 1

An interesting aspect I notice in the reading of this blog and in watching the Shirky TED Talk is the value of information in relation to the incentives therein.

A Logic Expiriment: If it is more favorable to trust information provided by an unbiased / unmotivated informant, then is a quality depiction of a given event provided by a blogger a more accurate depiction of the given event versus an account reported by a “real” Journalist from Fox or CNN or Al Jazeera?

Obviously, there is merit to the things proffesional journalist say and write.   Otherwise our collective interest would not fuel the hand of their affiliated advertisers to pay them comfortable salaries and reward them with fat purses for worthwhile articles and 11:00 News stories. 

But the skeptic in me must ask, “What makes an article worthwhile?” 

Well, firstly, as do most things, it depends on the perspective of the observer and, from the perspective of those who command the news that reaches a multitude of observers, what do most observers want to know about?  But, that’s really not it either.  It’s not like we are in the age of the Mad Men-esque advertising pioneers.  You know, back in the good ole days when there were only two or three black and white channels.  Now, things have changed and so have the relevant questions.

Today, faced with a multitude of media platforms in the form of T.V channels, websites, Google-Pedia and Yahooites, blogs, newspapers, magazines, radio, satelite and, God forbid, books, the advertising puppeteers who think they control the world must be quite a bit more specific. 

‘What are the most-likely-to-spend-money-on-our-stuff constituents of media land interested in hearing about’ and ‘how much of it can we give them until they get tired of it and stop accidentaly watching our commercials?’ 

Pardon the irony, but I, as most bloggers have no documented sources to back up these opinions portrayed.  I’m not getting paid for this and there’s nothing that would stop me from telling you via this portal a complete load of crap and pass it off as truth.

But, on the other hand, why would I (we)?

…TBC, how do we Blarket, and later, Why?

Do More Now.

My Previous Vocabulary.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2 other followers