#VINCEPTION post 1: 10 absolute basics to killer networking & making an impression:
- Always get them to tell you what they do first, then tailor what you do around that.
If I meet an investor, I’ll tell him about where I see the future of an industry going and gauge his interest in it if it’s an idea I may want to launch. If it’s someone who runs a personal brand, I’ll lead with some useful hacks and strategies I’ve heard about recently or have done. Otherwise you’ve blown your load way too early in getting their attention in that first crucial ten seconds
2) Don’t do business cards, add them on Facebook
Now they’re gonna see all of your posts on Facebook, so you can soft sell them with the value posts, while increasing your know/like/trust factor with your fun content and memes. So much better than two business cards with a “great to connect, let me know how I can help” message clogging up room on Google’s servers somewhere
3) Dress well
Just a little flourish of colour or something unique to you. Everyone dresses the same for businesses. You don’t have to go full Clancy, but you want to be REMEMBERED. As my philosopher once said “If I don’t remember you, it’s YOUR fault”
4) Introduce them to someone who can make them money, can pay them money, or can make introductions
The easiest way into someone’s good graces is if you can’t help them directly is through introductions
5) Don’t give out a tonne of advice if they don’t look interested
It’s great to impress them with knowledge, but try not to go into “consulting on the spot” mode. Talk about interesting things you’ve seen (which you know they will find interesting) and wait for them to ask you more questions on those little hooks of value you throw out (Inception of an idea that grows in their head) Never ever say “This is what you should do” switch in “I’ve seen companies do this with great results…” If you’ve ever tried to give business or personal development advice to a member of your family and they look at you like you’re showing a dog a card trick, the same rule applies here
6) Try and only attend events that are hard to get into
I.e. paid or private guestlist. If the whole world goes, expect a bunfight of founders pitching to other founders, neither of which have any money. In London, Tech London advocates is very good. In L.A., METal international is fantastic (men only that one, sorry ladies), as is the mysterious Mountain Gate (I’ll be there this week). For more serious businesses, Young Presidents’ Organisation has a very high level, if you qualify to get in
7) Get back to people you’ve met FAST
Honestly, if the conversation’s over take 3 minutes on your smartphone to send that email introduction/make that intro, tomorrow you’ll likely get schlonged with critical work tasks and you won’t get round to it. The longer this goes on, the less they are likely to get back to you. Same with dating, show some damn enthusiasm. “If you like them, don’t show it” is the worst dating advice ever. Go own that shit.
8) Keep in touch with people!
Send regular email updates of things you’ve learned to “keep them in the loop” even if it takes months for them to get back to you as they’re ready to hear back from you. Information is a currency, if you have the industry secrets, strategies and tips of what’s working right now, you will have great value for them
9) Build a large pool of potential clients
You never know which one will raise their hand and pay when you have an offer. One thing I’ve learned: Many of the people who comment and engage the most will never buy from you, but those who have never engaged or replied to an email suddenly show up with their wallet out at crunch time. Never be so arrogant to say “They’re not the sort of people who will buy my product/service” This goes for when you’re getting the word out about your product. Hit up EVERYONE who may be interested, you never know where the next sale is coming from.
10) Don’t do networking
Do public speaking instead. The whole room*has* to listen to you, though it’s all about giving tonnes of value, public speaking is basically giving a sales pitch to the whole room. There are elements of art, humour, and entertainment that need to be present, but as Dan Kennedy says “Every single slide, every single sentence, needs to lead them towards the sale. No matter how good your copy is, if it doesn’t lead your prospect here, don’t do it”
Like this post? There is a lot of #vinception coming this week.
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