All of the bright shimmering lights of the night life in Las Vegas are quite a sight to behold. In fact, they are almost so distracting that I am considering closing the drapes of my hotel window as I sit at this cozy desk collecting my thoughts from the day’s events.
This is Al Bargen and I’m here in Las Vegas, Nevada attending a conference on Internet Marketing. The vast majority of attendees have written books and are busy collecting information regarding how to market their masterpieces.
They have come to the right place because most of the speakers are best selling authors themselves.
In order to effectively market your book, we need to influence people. This sometimes means standing up and getting out from behind our desks. It means meeting face to face and creating relationships with the kinds of people who would be more than happy to help spread the good news about your future bestseller.
This is simply the truth. You have to meet new people, share ideas and discourse, and then allow those ideas to distill and simmer into something more refined. But “How does this affect me?”, you might ask.
If you want to build influence you must create meaningful, lasting relationships in your business life. Meeting people in person makes a big difference and conferences are great for that. How do you think a Swedish businessman/productivity champion would partner up with an online self-defense and fat loss instructor?
The answer should be obvious by now; Nick and I met at an event. And now we’ve gone on to author a soon-to-be bestselling book and this website which is rapidly growing in popularity. Enough about us though, how can you get the most out of attending events?
Let’s get this conversation rolling.
In order to network effectively you need to speak to people. This may sound dreadfully obvious, but it’s not so simple for everyone. You only have a few seconds to make a positive impression. So to influence people you need to kick off things right. If you need some help with conversation starters, take this advice from careerbuilder.com
- Location, location, location. Say something like “attendance looks higher than last year, how long have you been coming to these conventions?” You can then build on that answer by adding follow-up location related inquiries, i.e. “where did you fly in from?”
- Wise Guidance. It always feels good when someone asks for your advice. And it’s not only a great way to start a conversation, it ‘s also a wonderful way to glean information on topics of interest.
- Your Preparedness. Have you at least “Goggled” all of the speakers that will be attending? Are you up to date on the day’s news, or current events that may be potentially discussed? Although these topics may not be directly related to your business, they can be great at smoothing over the lulls in the conversation.
- Brave Sharing. Typically, “networking talk” seems to have a set of rules were people avoid controversy. But that’s not noteworthy. Generic is forgettable. So don’t be afraid to share your true opinion with others. Just don’t go so far as provoking an argument.
- Two Ears. Sometimes the best conversations don’t involve much talk at all. Dale Carnegie said that people love the sound of their own voice. So let people hear more of their voice, and less of yours. We’ve all heard the saying that we were given two ears and one mouth… and to use them proportionately.
- Ditch the Elevator Pitch. You’ve probably heard the advice to have an approximately 30 second long “pitch” to deliver to people you meet. Sometimes a brief, engaging conversation can be better. Networking is about making a connection with the person you are speaking to. When you truly connect with someone, they are happy to speak with you again. Isn’t that the real goal here?
An event can be an awesome opportunity to take your business to the next level. Use the simple ice breakers above and you’ll have a good platform to grow your influence one conference at the time.
Question: How do you break the ice during networking events?
Image from NinaMalyna/Bigstockphoto.com