I love video conferencing. Skype, Google Hangout, etc, etc – they are all great and I use them in my consulting work on a regular basis. But there is something about mingling in person that is different and I believe better. I enjoy shaking someone’s hand and the organic quality of the ebb and flow of conversation as other people move through the space.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to speak at the Women’s Empowerment Summit in New York. And no, it was not about male bashing or anything like that. It is possible to raise someone up without having to put someone else down. I had a wonderful time sharing ways to make every interaction, with clients, vendors and other networkers powerful.
The really exciting part of the day happened after the speakers were finished. Lunch was catered and all of the attendees were able to enjoy each other’s company; to just be real people with each other. I flourish in that type of environment and I realize that it can be challenging for some. What a great opportunity to provide a few tips for making any in-person meeting powerful and memorable.
- Wait to get in line for food – Once you have filled your plate you will need to find a place to sit. If you are among the first you are putting a stake in the sand and hoping others join you. Instead, wait a little bit. Chat with other attendees about how good the food smells or your thoughts on the previous or upcoming events. Once you have food, there will be other people you can join – giving you control over if you sit alone or not (please don’t).
- Talk about something other than business – People don’t interact with a business card and they are not going to hire or recommend a spreadsheet. Talk about who you are, the things you love to do and why you are passionate. The business conversation will develop organically if you let it.
- Follow up – You would not believe how often people come up to me after an event and say something attune to “I love what you’re doing and want to learn more.” To which I respond, “Great, check out my website and connect with me on LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter.” They enthusiastically tell me they will and I never hear from them again. I am not sure if they expect me to chase them down to give them my expertise or following up is just more difficult that I think it is. Whatever the case, the people who do are certainly the ones who end up in my referral list. If you don’t follow up with me, I am going to assume you will do the same thing to a potential client. I am not willing to risk that happening to my clients.
Meeting people in person is by far the best way to get to know them and create a relationship to give/get referrals. Social media is great. But don’t expect it to do it all for you. Get out there, show your face and talk to people!
Agree or disagree? What do you think meeting in person has over the virtual world?
Tags :being a great salesman, Champion Performance Development, Doc Robyn, getting business, getting referrals, how to meet people, making contacts, making sales, meeting new people, networking, new clients, Robyn Odegaard, sales