I hate being late to things. I’m one of those guys who leaves 30 minutes before he really needs to “just in case”.
When I first started networking and going to events, I found out pretty early on that this quirk actually worked in my favor.
I’d show up and sometimes get there before the host of the event showed up. Immediately I was able to get a few minutes of time with them to get to know them better and help them set things up.
Instantly, when other people showed up, I looked like I knew what I was doing because I had been there with the host. Other newbies would walk up to me because I was only one of a few people. It’s much easier to talk to a few people than a big group so it was an easy conversation to start.
Over time, I used that ability meet people as they walked in the door. Instead of walking in to big crowd of people, I was there to meet people one at a time as they walked in the door.
I’m also known to be one of the last people to leave an event. See, many times, the end of an event is when the magic happens. Nothing solidifies a new relationship like getting together for drinks when everyone is winding down after an event.
You don’t even have to drink to join the “after party” group. Just hang out with them and talk shop. I can’t count the number of amazing people I’ve met and really got to know well after the event was over.
See, while the event is going on, everyone is in “presentation mode” and has an agenda for being there. After the event, they let their guard down and are more into real conversation. Not to mention, many events get really loud and it’s hard to have a good conversation with someone. Afterwards, there are less people and the meeting agenda is done.
Side-note: Trade shows are a great example of this. When I’ve done trade shows, my goal is to network with other vendors more than to talk to the attendees who walk through. I remember my first trade show back when I was promoting my graphic design business. By staying to the very end and talking to the other vendors as we packed up, I got one client that has been with me to this day. It’s over 15 years later.
All because I stuck around for a few extra minutes.
About The Author:
Ely Delaney is a dad, Best Selling author, speaker, marketing consultant and Founder/CEO of Your Marketing University. His goal is to teach marketing in a simple easy to understand format businesses can use to help gain marketing ideas & market their businesses to boost sales.
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