How To Meet Successful People
Networking with successful people who work on the cutting edge of business is an absolutely essential skill for every marketer in the world. Despite this fact, many folks I meet out at conferences and other events simply don’t know how to meet successful people in a direct, respectful, and productive manner. Today, I want to discuss the specific techniques you need to develop in order to meet the most influential people and actually bring value to the interaction.
Why You Should Meet Successful People
So, first, why should you meet successful people? If you’re starting a business, you’re going to want to accrue as much expertise and knowledge as possible in a short amount of time. You need a robust network of intelligent people who are invested in your success, and curious about what you’ve got coming up next. You also want to improve and challenge yourself by having people smarter and more experienced around you to help with your personal evolution and growth.
Even if you just want to learn how to offer value to others and become part of the larger business community, getting to know influential people is the best training you can ask for. This is especially true if you already have something you can offer them, such as a well-considered business plan, a blog to raise their exposure, or an exciting new product.
Now, why should you NOT want to meet these people? You should not want to meet them if you’re simply looking for a cool photo for your Instagram account, bragging rights with your friends, or to impress a girl. This article is not for fanboys. Only use this advice if you’re going to use it for “good” – to be of use you the business community as a whole, and to offer value to the world.
First, Find Out What They’re Doing
First, you need to find out what the successful people are up to in their business endeavors. What is your prospective successful entrepreneur, for example, doing? Is he starting a new business? Can you help him with this business? If this is the case, then you have a reason to contact this person.
You need a clear reason so that when you go up and begin a conversation, you actually have a useful question and point from which to begin a business relationship. I would personally go up to him and say something to the effect of, “It’s very nice to meet you. So, what is currently the BIGGEST issue in your business that you need help solving?” Now, of course they are likely to give you a genuine answer because everyone likes to speak about their business. Wait for them to talk all the way through their point, and then offer them a solution to this issue. With this, you will offer some value from the outset of the interaction with this successful person.
Offer Value, Don’t Look For A Handout
Even if there’s a particular solution to be had, offer some value to them. For example, if someone wants to be more known on the internet, offer more blog exposure for them. If someone wants a link to their blog, offer a link to their blog. If someone wants a video of themselves on the internet, film them. Find a way to be of use to them, and they will ultimately be of use to you.
Ultimately, whatever value you give out, you will get back in return. It may not be by the entrepreneur standing in front of you, but the world of success is one of abundance and someone will eventually give you a return on your investment of giving value at all times. As a famous politician once said, “Think of what you can do for your country, not what your country can do for you”. The same applies with business networking. So don’t complain.
Don’t Be Shy, Be Engaging
When you get to the business conference to meet these people of influence, DON’T BE TOO SHY. Too often, I see young entrepreneurs trying to network at an event just standing around. They look at whoever or whatever they see nearby, and don’t actually take action. That’s not what you want to do. If you want to actually meet these people, it’s going to be kind of hard, so you need to be willing to make the assertive move and actually get their attention. Now, of course, don’t be obnoxious or anything like that, however you do want your presence felt. Walk calmly towards them and initiate the conversation.
Practice Meeting Successful People
It might be a little awkward at first if you haven’t done this often, but that’s okay. Keep engaging folks and you’ll get the swing of it. If you need to practice a bit, do that as well. Go to very large conferences and begin chatting with people. Practice meeting A LOT of individuals in your industry. Most people are too afraid to approach strangers at marketing conferences, so you will be doing others a favor, if anything. You should learn really fast if you are willing to take a few practice steps.
Practice getting the contact details of successful people as well. Practice offering value at all times, as mentioned before. Tell them why you’re asking for their contact details, don’t just ask “Can I have your business card??” No, rather give them a solid explanation of your intentions. “Hey, listen – I think we can do some good business together, here’s what I can help you with, maybe we should stay in touch, do you have a business card?”. This is much better. Don’t leech off of them, deliver a much more thorough reasoning for beginning a partnership.
So, the next time you’re at an event, I want you to try out the things we’ve been discussing. Meeting successful people and offering value are arts within themselves. While you won’t master them on the first few tries, they are skills which will last a lifetime and exponentially grow the potential of you and your business.