Like the creation of a great movie or award-winning commercial, there must be a plan.
The narrative is written, the work is organized strategically and executed flawlessly.
It’s the same with networking.
Have you ever attended an event, met someone valuable to your business and then asked, “Wow, what a great coincidence?”
Chances are it was not a lucky coincidence or gift from the universe. The other person was networking you. Think of any spy movie and there is always someone pegged as the unsuspecting ‘mark’ who is concealed from the bigger picture.
That’s networking. You’re the spy. Pick your mark. Be the hero of the story.
And this begins your training with ten steps.
- Case the joint: Know who the players are before you arrive. Use tools to research the people you want to meet at the event
- Cover Story: Have a plan about what you want to talk about. Most people will remember one thing from your encounter. Make the decision for them and circle all conversations back to your one key point
- Gadgets: Always have your business cards with you. And when you receive a card from someone, make a note on the back to remind yourself of at least two things: where you met them and key takeaway
- No guts. No glory: Introduce yourself to strangers. Everyone there wants to meet new people and don’t be afraid to walk up to a group of people or person standing alone to start a random conversation
- Maneuver: Don’t stay with any one person for too long. You’re on the hunt, don’t stay to farm. That’s for later
- Get smart: Know a little about everything. Read news headlines on the day of an event. That way, when your ‘mark’ brings up a current event, you can have an opinion
- Three moves ahead: Not every person is going to have something you want. However, they might be a stepping-stone to someone else. Be creative about how the contact you’ve met can work for you
- Are you talking to me? Introduce people by name and include one memorable detail
- Why you? Find out the one foundational thing that makes you memorable and use it to your advantage. Maybe you are extremely tall, sexy or have an accent. It can be anything unique to your personality, physicality, experience or more. Use it to your advantage.
- Ask one question: What can I do for you? Everyone needs something. Be the ‘connected’ solution that can solve anything
If you’re going to network do it right. Information is your greatest tool.