This is a follow up to a previous post that can be found here.
OK, so I attend the seminar and am blogging about my experience so you can learn to NOT do what I did.
I recently attended a seminar led by Gary S. Davis, a North Carolina native, and expert speaking on Networking in the South.
As I walked up and introduced myself to Gary, I mentioned that we have a mutual friend in the business (looking for some kind of connection), then I proceeded to tell him about myself, what I do for a living, what company I work for and about my family and the reasons we moved here from Southern California. I tend to mention that last fact because I think a lot of people like to ask that inevitable question "What brought you all the way from California to Johnston County, North Carolina?". Gary was very engaging in our conversation and was very polite.
He began his talk with a few jokes about southerns then proceeded to explain that it was necessary for us to define "Networking" before we can learn how to use it in the south. In Gary's words, "Networking IS NOT networking at a networking event". Standing in a room of people who want to talk about themselves and give you their business card in hopes that you will hold onto it for that one crucial minute that they say, boy I'm glad I held on to that card. When really our thoughts go to "I do not care about you at all". "Networking IS about getting on other people's list."
Who is on your list? You know that list of people that you would do anything for in the middle of the night. That person you would do anything for to help them succeed in business and life. That person you want to just be around because you are attracted to their personality, virtues, and general presence. Your list may be small or great. But how many lists are you on? And how to you get on that list. "Networking is about who you are to other people. It's the story you build." This is not something that happens overnight. It's is a slow growing process. Consider it a dating relationship. Once you've decided you like this person, then it may become more intimate. Then of course, those lifetime relationships are equivalent to marriage.
1. Use Small Talk-like a pick-up-line, bring up something that is general to everyone. ie: sports, the weather, restaurants, shopping
2. If you like this person then bring it in. Talk about family, likes and dislikes, hobbies
3. Maybe it's time for lunch. But be sure if you do the inviting-pay for it.
4. Find what it is that you have of value to bring to them. Something low cost or no cost to them (ie: giving them a small token or gesture that is of value to them if they receive it from you, but requires nothing back)
Gary ended simply that when in the south, take your time, don't rush to be in people's faces and begin to expect much right off the bat. Develop and nurture the relationship and the rest will come. It was a great time and thank you Gary for the great idea. I now have a compass.
"Gary Davis is an expert speaker on business networking. He conducts networking seminars for corporate planning outings, association meeting and sales retreats" visit http://www.garydavispresents.com/ or call 919-696-5565