Recently after a networking event, I received the following e-mail. “Larry, it was great to meet you too. You were definitely the most interesting person I met at this networking event.”
Why do you suppose he would say something like that? It wasn’t because I was the most interesting person in the room, it was because I asked a lot of questions and kept him talking, not just about his business but his life. I know where he likes to travel, how long he has been married, etc. I believe it was because I showed a genuine interest in who he was, not just what he did for a living. People love to share their story.
He started the conversation by asking me what brought me to this networking event. I smiled and said, “So I could meet interesting people like you.” From there we talked for about 20 minutes.
So many networkers miss out because they suffer from “foot-in-mouth” disease. When they meet someone, they shove a business card in their hand and go on-and-on about who they are, what they do and never stop long enough to discover anything about the other person or whether there is common ground where they might be able to help each other.
As we were about to move on to meet others, he asked me for my business card. We exchanged cards. While we were about to finish talking, he made a few notes on the back of my card, put it in his “good” pocket and we said goodbye.
What’s a “good” pocket? We both talked about the kind of people we meet at events and whether their business card went in the “good” pocket or the “bad” pocket to be trashed when we returned to the office. We both agreed that if the card went in the “good” pocket, that person would be someone we would definitely follow-up with soon after the event. I call that part of the common ground I spoke about earlier. It indicated to me that this was someone I will probably get to know better.
The statement from the e-mail above was a follow-up to an e-mail that I send the next day after we met letting him know it was great to meet him, etc. His return e-mail went on to describe the kind of business referrals that would be best for him. That’s smart.
I’ve said it before and it bears repeating: “If you want to call attention to yourself, you must pay attention to others!”
BONUS Articles: What to Talk About at the Follow-Up
8 Steps To Build Relationships After A Networking Event
Seven Steps To Building Your New Relationships Through Follow-Up
Your Networking Fortune is in Your Follow-Up!
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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