On October 6th I fly into Las Vegas to attend the Electronic Retailing Association’s (@retailing.org) major industry event – like I have for the past decade. This year, in particular, as I review my calendar and sift through the emails requesting a meeting, I ask myself how do I get the most value out of this event without running myself ragged? I’m a skilled networker but still I find myself ‘out of breath’ at the end of this show. And then I remembered something my father used to say to me, or rather sang to me, in a crude imitation of Bing Crosby.
“You’ve got to accentuate the positive. Eliminate the negative. Latch on to the affirmative. Don’t mess with Mr. In-Between.”
It makes sense now (even though I cringed every time he sang it as a kid) – he was crooning the perfect recipe for networking and building business.
Focus on all the positives that you will encounter during the 3 days in Sin City. Make sure your mindset is positive towards every meeting scheduled. You can grow your network faster by helping generate business for the people you meet. Turn every meeting, chance or otherwise, into a positive experience. There’s an unwritten rule that says if you help generate some business for someone, they will want to return the favor. And positively wear dynamite shoes!
Eliminate the negative! We all know that we schedule that one meeting (maybe even two or three) that we know is waste of time but feel obligated to book anyway. Not this year. And we all recognize that networking events can be overwhelming, especially the busy ones, so you need to go into them totally clear about what you want to get out of it – no passive partying! Everything you do can be geared towards results.
For sure, latch onto the affirmative. For me, this means only booking meetings with a clear connection to business growth and end them with specific action items to move forward. When networking ask sensible questions about them and their business and remember what you have been told. Don’t worry too much if they don’t ask a lot about you… they are much more likely to remember you for your interest in them, than if you spend your time trying to force your business history down their throat.
And stay the heck away from Mr. In-Between. We all know who Bing Crosby was referencing! That person that talks a good game but has no follow thru! The company that asks for business but never gives back business. The meeting filled with big picture promises but not concrete action items. The extra 1/2 hour at the bar talking to people who are socializing but not truly networking. When attending an industry event like @d2cshow every moment can be optimized by real business building exchange – IF you stay positive, avoid the negative, be affirmative and stay away from Mr. In-Between!
I’ll be there positively looking for new call center business, avoiding any marketers not interested in taking their campaign to the next level, affirming that Synergixx is leading the way in Personal Endorsement Radio and staying away from anyone who is not playing to win!
See you there!