Vegas and Networking?

Walking the Strip in Las Vegas can be very interesting, especially at 3:30AM. However, I don’t know about you, but I hate the dudes in the neon shirts who try to get your attention by clapping their brochures which promote some of Vegas’s finest “massage” therapists. It is doubtful this style of promotion actually builds business. So you may be asking; “What’s this have to do with networking”? Fact is, we all have seen the “business card networker” at nearly every networking event we’ve attended. They walk up to a perfect stranger, flash their business card (much like the guys in neon shirts), and nearly force us to take it. They then mumble something that is totally unimportant and they move on to the next “victim” of their time wasting actions.

It’s pretty easy to not be “that guy!” But here are a few tips that might help you with your networking at future networking events as you try to “connect” with new folks:

Establish Your Priorities: Know exactly what you hope to get out of this particular networking event or face-to-face meeting. More importantly, be sure to help the person/people you meet to get something they are looking for. Once you help them get what they’re looking for, they will be much more open to helping you.

Have a Plan: This can truly be anything. It all depends on your brand and what you want others to know about you, your products and services, or your organization. You might want to meet 3 people with whom you want to develop a relationship, or perhaps you will want to gain support for a certain need in your business, like website development, Social Media coaching, teamwork, resume building, et cetera. Just be sure your goals are clear and you have a defined plan.

Be a Connector: Here’s a flash—-It’s not all about you! Make it a goal to introduce at least two people to each other who you think can likely help each other. They will remember you and that is quite likely one of your goals.

Focus on the Future: Dwelling in the past doesn’t help anyone. Talk about what‘s happening in the future and how both of you can help each other achieve great things. There is altogether too much negativity these days…leave it out in your car. Think possibilities!

A few other don’ts include, but are not limited to; don’t just hear…listen. Don’t sell…help. Don’t tell…ask.

Partner with a Friend: Here at The CPO Institute, we encourage Partnering in many ways. What we are talking about here is working with a friend before the networking session to set your individual priorities, plans and goals. Share them with each other, try to introduce each other to at least one perfect stranger with common goals or interests, but don’t simply hang out together. Following the event, it’s a great idea to review how things went for each other. Share who some of your best contacts where and what your follow-up strategies are.

Follow Through: All too often, people don’t follow-up on the valuable contacts they make at networking events. If you meet someone you want to generate a business relationship with, find out if they are into Social Media and which ones. Be sure to get their contact info and follow-up with a phone call, email, note, and/or friend them on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

Bottom line, don’t be that guy in the neon shirt! If you want to inform people of you and your “Personal Brand” you must have a plan, help others get what they need, and work with a Partner to get the best results from a networking event and to connect with others.

Did you know you can follow TJ Wisner on his new Facebook Page…see you there!