In this video Tom and I cover networking. We discuss how this might look as an introvert or as an extrovert. Tom and I are two very different people but we both agree that if you are in business, you need to learn how to network. I have 2 graphics the show some networking that I have done, where I have taken an online meetings into real life connections. I also included 8 tips on how to meet anyone, anywhere, anytime (politely). So today it is a watch and read episode!
Tips on how to meet anyone, anywhere, anytime (politely)
Tip 1: Go in with an open mind and warm heart. I know, it sounds sappy, but if you skip this principle, the other tips won’t work. If you walk in with an air of desperation, people will smell it on you a mile away. Even “determination” without the right energy can be a turn off. Energy. Ugh! There is that word again. Don’t understand it? Here is a crazy simple idea, watch back-to-back episodes of Caesar Milan’s show The Dog Whisperer. I consider myself a very spiritual person, and I didn’t get what energy meant until I watched The Dog Whisperer. Animals and people sense fear, desperation, weakness, as well as openness, warmth and a friendly heart. Watch it. Get it. Your pets (and your people) will love you.
Tip 2: Here is a tip that is a no-brainer that people rarely put into practice. Talk to everyone you meet. In the van from the airport. In the line for coffee. In the elevator. I can’t tell you the countless connections that I have made “on the van.” Speak up, ask who is attending your event, ask them where they are from. Let any discomfort go and lead the conversation. It is not an interrogation. It is well-placed, genuine chit chat.
You never know who you might meet or who that person might know. I met a woman “on the van” to an event who later introduced me to a book editor. Bingo!
Tip 3: Play it cool but not too cool. Showing enthusiasm when you are meeting someone goes a long way to make a positive impression.
Me: “Oh, you work for So-and-So Publishing. I really like the author, So-and-So, who publishes with your company. His book is one of my favorites.”
Book Editor: “Really?! I edited that book.”
Double Bingo! Call scheduled with editor to pitch my own book.
Tip 4: Lead with a compliment. In fact, bring your whole bag o’ compliments with you. When I attend trade shows, I compliment hand bags, shoes, glasses. It is a positive ice breaker, and it opens the door to conversation.
Tip 5: Don’t be afraid to talk about what you do. It is okay to have your story in place. But the real tip is to ask about what they do first. A good rule thumb is to politely ask for someone else’s business card before you shove your card in their hand. I have seen more awkward moments when someone shoved his cards into the hands of a recipient without a request. ACK! I may have seen myself do it a couple of times, and it ain’t pretty!
Tip 6: Hang out. Don’t rush back to your room alone to order room service or stick to your friend like glue. Hanging out gives you the opportunity to meet more people. If you are looking over notes on a bench before a class starts, you will probably notice the speaker arrive early. Be of service. “Do you need any help?” “Do you need me to hand anything out for you?” If you are knowledgeable with audio or visual technology, you are golden.
Tip 7: Follow through. “But I didn’t make any deals!” That is perfectly all right. Once you have that business card in hand, go home and write an It-was-so-nice-to-meet-you-email. Common sense again, but not enough people do it. I have been doing it for years without thinking, “What can this person do for me?” It is simply, “It was a pleasure talking to you.” I can’t tell you how this has paid off for me years later.
Tip 8: Keep in mind that people put their pants on one leg at a time. Don’t be afraid of anyone, even the Queen of England is just a person. I was a flight attendant for years and met celebrities, politicians, and musicians. Yep, they breathe air just like we do, and they deserve a little respect (like we do). Case and point: I was on a flight the other day and ended up a few seats away from Hilary Swank. Her seat mate and my seat mate had fallen asleep. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted her doing acrobatics climbing over her friend to try to get the bathroom. When she did it, I gave her a high five. Later we spotted each other both working on our knitting. We then engaged in a bit of chit chat (over two people) about our projects. Was this the the time to hand her a business card? My husband says yes, I should have introduced myself and talked about my web show Smart Creative Women. I say no, we were not talking business or at a business event, and I wanted to respect her space on the planet. I do, however, think she is a smart creative woman, and when I run into her again, I will strike up a familiar conversation. Don’t think I will? Just wait.
One of the first rules of courtesy is a consideration for other person’s feelings. If you relax, open your heart, be respectful and show genuine interest in someone else, you can confidently meet anybody and have some every interesting doors opened for you.