I was at a recent networking event on behalf of my employer. Sometimes I approach such occasions with fear, worried about who I might get cornered with for the duration of the evening day/evening. Luckily I hooked up to a table with some people who were really easy to talk to – fingers crossed they felt the same way afterwards too!
The guy I saw at the bar later on during the event was not so lucky. I could overhear the person who was talking at him – rattling off about their experience, interests and ideas. The look on the person being held hostage/listening was very much ‘Please help me, I need to get away from this person. They are lost in themselves!’
Want to get influence at an event with your prospective clients? Listen. Ask questions. Then listen some more. People buy in to you if you can show a sincere interest in what they are concerned with and believe you are being empathetic to their needs. It also makes it easier for you to come up with a solution for them if you have a better understanding of what their concerns are.
Alternatively you could just keep talking at them. And talk some more. And then a little bit more. But you learn nothing when you are listening to the sound of your own voice
Don’t believe me? Try it front of a mirror to be sure. (Hint: If you believe you have actually learnt something you need professional help)
Alternatively if you have any networking event suggestions that you use yourself I would love to hear them – whether they be exit strategies when dealing with the guys at the bar, or how to effectively get the most from such events without appearing insincere.
Beats staring at the mirror all day.