Keys to Successful Networking – Being Memorable
Building new relationships as a professional service provider starts with being memorable. This starts with first impressions. When we meet someone, our instinct is to immediately assess if we like them or not. Once we have formed our opinion, it is very hard to change.
Therefore, it’s critically important that you make sure how you look, who you project yourself to be, and what you say are consistent and memorable. This will give you the best chance to connect and ultimately, get that call for your next million-dollar assignment.
In most business situations, we are taught to blend in. Don’t wear loud clothing. That cologne should be limited or eliminated. Try not to give the prospect or client any reason to not like you. Just stay neutral. This cannot be further from the truth!
So, let’s talk about how you can leave a lasting and good impression.
LOOK IN THE MIRROR
Who is the person the others see? Are you an invisible blob of a grey suit? Is there a visible glob of your lunch on your grey suit? Your outfit must be organized, clean, and well thought out.
Individual style is important, and I want you to be interesting. Having a look of confidence sometimes comes down to simple elegance. No matter how you want to look at it, you must own it.
WHAT ARE THEIR DREAMS?
It is impossible to help others reach their dreams and goals unless you ask them. Here are some starter questions.
What are some of the professional dreams you want to achieve in the next five years
Discover if they want to expand their firm into other cities.
Discover if they want to expand their products or services.
Discover if there are any business people they would like to meet. Discover if they want to sell their business.
Discover what they want to do after they retire.
You will stand out from everyone else they meet because you were thoughtful enough to ask.
It is impossible to ignore a puppy. They are wagging their tail full of enthusiasm, excitement, and sheer happiness. This is how we should enter an event and one-on-one interaction.
Here is how to make your networking puppy play.
Don’t accept being ignored.
Greet everyone as a friend. One would say they even have a smile.
Know no strangers.
Give affection to everyone.
Have total self-esteem.
Always be happy.
Hold no grudges.
Always moving around.
FIND THE CONNECTION
When you first meet someone, you must search for the commonality. Do you know people in their industry or company, did you work in their building, live in their neighborhood, graduated from the same college, etc.
People move away from people with negative energy and to those that are positive. You become memorable creating a habit of being positive. Negative nellies are memorable too – everyone remembers to steer clear of them.
TELL A GREAT STORY
Memorable people are often good at telling stories. Those people that can match their stories to something the other person says are masters at making connections. So, work on your stories. They should be crafted to create curiosity and leave the person in front of you wanting more. Just like the headline in a newspaper, your opening is important.
“Did you hear Amazon is moving out of California?”
Being in commercial real estate business companies moving out of California hits home to many people. This leads into the question of, “Why?” Then I can tell the story of when I worked with a large company to evaluate the stay or move scenario. They now know a little more about what I do, and they have valuable new information. And just maybe, at some quiet moment back at the office, waking up in the morning or driving to a client’s office, they will remember the story and think about me.
RELATING TO YOUR AUDIENCE
Be real. People you meet are tired of listening to other people talk about how great they are at their profession. Talking about your vulnerability and past failures shows there is a real person behind the invisible shield of successes. As human beings, we relate to failures because we are all flawed.
Success comes from overcoming difficulty and continuing to press on. The fact you have failures learned from those mistakes and are still making things happen shows the tenacity of your character.
One of the best ways to be remembered is to perform at levels that consistently go beyond the ordinary. There is a big difference between talking and doing. Those who consistently exceed expectations are remembered and valued by those around them.
In this busy world, most people forget to follow-up. It takes 5 touches before you are memorable. Below is the system I set up for the people I would like to get to know.