It’s a heck of a lot easier to start a conversation with someone after a networking event when they remember you. Here’s the rub, so many of us don’t engage in memorable or meaningful conversation. Worse than that, there are those of us who are remembered, but are remembered for the wrong thing.
Here is a quick list of some ways to be remembered at a networking event-note that I said they are not all good:
1. The most important networking accessory you can wear is very simple: It’s a smile. People like to be around people who look like they’re having fun and feel good about themselves.
2. The person to whom you are speaking is the most important person in the room. Honor them. Listen to them. Ask them questions. These are the ways they will know that they are important to you.
3. If you want to be remembered as a great conversationalist, let the person to whom you are speaking talk about themselves. It’s amazing they can talk for 17 out of 20 minutes and they will walk away thinking you are a dynamic and interesting conversationalist.
4. Ask how you can be of assistance and be generally interested in the answer. You are there (or at least should be) to help. Do so. Networking starts with an expressed need. Let them express their needs and do what you can to see those needs fulfilled.
5. Be a connector. People will tell you how you can help them. Do so. It’s very powerful to have someone call you to thank you for the outstanding referral or opportunity that was generated as a result of your interaction with them.
On to the flip side
6. Be rude. Interrupt often. Stare at your blackberry as they speak.
7. Talk only about you and your needs. Pay no mind to what they have to say or what may be important to them.
8. Look around the room constantly as there may be someone better there for you to be speaking to.
9. Play the one-upmanship game. Every time they tell you a story or something of interest, let them know that your story is better or more important.
Needless to say these are both ways to be memorable. The difference is one set of ideas will get get you a lot farther than the other set. Choose wisely.
How do you make yourself stick out in the minds of the people you just met?