When people think of networking they think of moving fast and making deals. Networking is game of quality, not quantity.
Recently I attended an event to network with other wedding pros and to learn more about the business we’re all in. The male presenter had some golden nuggets of wisdom and really struck a chord with me. I decided to seek him out afterwards to pick his brain on a more one-on-one level.
I introduced myself, told him how much I enjoyed his presentation and even cited some of the examples he spoke of. He gave me his business card and just as our conversations started to gain steam, his eyes darted away from me and he stopped listening and paying attention to what I was saying. I thought something out of the ordinary in the room had caught his attention, but when I looked where he was looking, I didn’t see a drink spilled or a waiter drop a tray.
It became obvious that he was looking at a woman across the room that was attractive, yet not provocatively dressed. Either way he shifted his focus in a manner that was both abrupt and unprofessional.
If you’re talking to someone and see someone else you want to talk to, simply say it was nice talking with you and move on. The worst thing you can do is make people feel unimportant. As Dale Carnegie says in his famous book How To Win Friends & Influence People, two of the most basic human needs are to feel important and appreciated. After talking to him I felt neither.
The sad part is I did think he had great insight, but from his actions I had no reason to remember his words or more importantly for him – make referrals for his business.
“Be where your feet are” is a phrase used by Alabama football coach Nick Saban. If you can focus on a conversation and make another person feel important and appreciated, you’re well on your way.