You can be alot of things in a room..so be likable.
So you’re an entrepreneur—every event you attend is a networking opportunity. Business is cyclic so it isn’t uncommon to find yourself hopping from event to event, meeting to meeting, handing out your business cards (or asking people to scan your QR contact code). That’s cool, I guess, but how do people remember you?
At these events, I’m usually the last one to pass off a business card. Not because I’m stingy, but because I believe in making meaningful connections that have nothing to do with business. I like to spark conversations that establish who I am as a person-centered brand. I introduce “Krystal” the human-being before I introduce the unkanny! designer. I invite people into a conversation by being polite and personable and after observing their behavior for a short time. Sounds creepy but hear me out. I’m looking for commonalities—taking notes, mannerisms, simultaneous head nods, coffee and continental breakfast choices, knowing the lyrics to a song playing overhead—in order to connect. That way, when I follow up with them, I remind them how we both were jamming to Eye of the Tiger because we bonded over Rocky training montages. The odds of them remembering that moment are much higher than being just one of the many people handing out business cards. Before I send my post-event follow-up, I research their online presence, take note of their mission/values, and I pitch my services as a value opportunity that helps them meet their challenges. Bonus points if I can weave in a theme from whatever we bonded over.People don't care about what you do or how you do it—they care about how what you do meets their needs. Click To Tweet
When I read What’s In It for Them by Joe Polish, he reiterated this same concept as he recounted a dinner event with Virgin’s founder Sir Richard Branson. He started a conversation with Sir Richard about an experience he had with a couple of his favorite musicians—a conversation that broke the monotony of serious conversations about business and strategy everyone else in the room was more interested in talking about. More importantly, the conversation between the two was extended to a value-based proposition which led to many mutually-beneficial business and nonprofit endeavors—and even a friendship—between the two.
People like doing business with people they like.