I’m sure you have heard this expression before. It usually means that someone did something that was fantastic and whoever is up next may not measure up; it means to be so good it is not likely that anyone or anything else that comes after will be as good.
A networker who stands out from the crowd is someone who is comfortable with who they are, has the confidence to be unique and to let their individuality shine. Being a hard act to follow means that you’re not afraid to speak your mind and to avoid following others when to do so results in sameness and conformity.
They have good manners, are polite and treat others in their network with respect. They take action while everyone else stands back waiting for someone else to take the lead. The don’t overdo alcohol at networking events. They often out-think and out-perform their competition. They work consistently to make a great first impression and often project an aura of mystery.
A person who is a hard act to follow may be someone whose appearance is striking in some way, but more often than not, it is about someone who generates admiration and is remembered by others for being someone special and worthy of looking up to. They do things differently. They are on a path of self-education and keep themselves up on the latest networking techniques. They are great at sharing what they have learned with others. It’s about going the extra mile to prove that you are one of a kind in networking skills, talent, and personality!
They give a crap… and make sure everyone in their network knows it. They are great listeners and are always looking for a way to help others. They understand that to stand out, it’s often the little things that make the biggest impact. When they promise something, they always deliver. Most importantly they have unquestioned integrity. They are indeed very special people.
Some networkers don’t seem to get it. They are either introverted or overly aggressive, have very little tact and – to others – know very little about the fine art of business networking. They dress sloppy, they push their business cards off on people who didn’t ask for them, they present themselves is ways that make you wonder how in the world anyone would do business with them.
“The scorched-earth networker burns and pillages for new business. He’s a hunter at business meetings, more interested in bagging the big sale than in building relationships and helping others. He’s constantly dissatisfied with the quantity and quality of the referrals he’s getting, so he moves on. He flits from one networking group to another, doesn’t establish any roots or relationships, networks relentlessly with everyone he meets (often inappropriately), believes that being highly visible is the key to referral success, and expects referrals from others even though he has done nothing that would make anyone else want to help him.
What he doesn’t know is that a serious networker understands that in order to build a mature, healthy, and mutually profitable relationship, he must stay where he is, and nurture it, and devote a lot of time and effort in growing it. The longer you participate in a networking group, the more business you will get.” ~ Ivan Misner
Here is your challenge: Be different. Be unforgettable. Be a hard act to follow!
Update your 30 Second connection. Make it (and you) sparkle! It’s okay to be an attention getter if you do it with finesse.
Do things that help you stand out in your networking group. Giving lots of referrals (not leads) is probably one of the best ways. Being obvious in helping others is another. Introducing others to people that might be in a position to help them is another way. These kinds of unique initiatives are bound to make you a hard act to follow.
The best way to get noticed and stand out in a crowd is to always be the best you can be. Those people are a hard act to follow.
You can be that way too – only if you decide to.
BONUS Articles: 7 Keys to Help You Turn Up Your “Burn!”
Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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