I did another trade show this week. Unlike my previous career when I would organize and run things, this time I just arrived and was the "talent". There is a story I share in "Peter in Flight" about being attacked and ridiculed by a fellow exhibitor. I thought it was a rare and singular event, which made it pretty funny to look back on. However, today, it happened again.
So there I was, guy at the booth, not many people around, when another exhibitor comes up looking for information. He asks about one our four products on display, and I explain that the person who is an expert on this one subject had stepped away, but I give him an overview. He asks which product I am an expert on, and I start to tell him. Then we step over to the monitor and I start to show him. After about five minutes I have given the high level overview and he wants to know more.
I explain how we deal with this, and I explain why we are really good at that. Next he asks a very specific question, which I take the time to answer with as much care as he asked. But he tells me no, that is not what he is looking for. So I ask him to repeat the question, which he does, and I summarize what he has just said to make certain that I am understanding the question, which he agrees, I understand the question. So I explain the answer from another perspective for a few minutes, which he stops me.
"Am I wasting your time?" He is angry.
"No, I was answering your question." I say with humility.
"That is not the answer."
"My apologies, maybe I misunderstood what you were looking for," and I restate his question.
"No, no, that is all wrong. You should listen better, I know all about this area and you are just wasting my time!" He says with a loud and enraged fury, and then throws the little metal USB drive I had given him with marketing materials at me, then stomps off swearing.
I am alone at the booth with no one to verify the radical change in this mans behavior. If he had given me his business card you know what I would be doing right now? That's right, the same thing that happened to Jim Stevens in Chapter 7 of "Peter in Flight" .
Not sure what happens in Chapter 7 yet? You can download your copy of Peter in Flight at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CNGK59A/