Foolproof strategy for connecting with the right people in a big room!
One of the questions I get a lot is how do I start connecting with the right people. There are short answers and long answers to this question, but for today I want to share just a couple quick strategies that I found that can save you a ton of time in getting to highly connected people.
If you are actively prospecting for your sales path, you will undoubtedly come across a lot of opportunities/invites to different network events and networking meetings. If you are like me, the thought of milling around a room with a bunch of other salesmen trying to find the one or two influential people never really seemed like a good use of time.
I always felt I needed to “get lucky” in terms of sifting out the right people that could move my business forward. That was until I figured out a simple little hack to get to the right people.
How to Connect with Influencers at Networking Events
You’ve just walked into a room with nearly 100 strangers. I mean this room is huge. You can start picking off the low hanging fruit, you know the dudes leaning against the wall with a drink in their hands or better yet you could look for the one person in the middle of the room who looks as dumbfounded as you and make a beeline to them. The truth is it is not likely that the drunk wallflower or Mrs. Deer in t headlights is going to ever bring any value to your business or life.
So you burn up some time with a few folks and learn quickly they just aren’t a good prospect for you. In the meantime, daylight is burning and unproductive conversations are costing you money.
So lets try this….
1. Pick that same random person in the crowd
2. Ask her (or him) if she knows anyone at this meetup. When she points at someone, go talk to them instead.
This two-step technique is based on a simple phenomenon I discovered in the early years of being on LinkedIn. As I grew my connections, I noticed that the same couple people kept showing up as a mutual connection. It wasn’t a couple times, it was ALL the time. So I applied the “add connection” concept to the next big meetup I was at and immediately had success.
The odds work, and your randomly picked person is quite likely to point out one of the few highly connected players in the room. But if person number two is clearly not an influencer in the room, simply ask them” who else do you know?” and move on. The odds that the next person is the big dog in the room are off the charts!
Now put your networking prowess on steroids.
If you are attending a networking event that posts the attendee list (Eventbrite, Facebook, Meetup, etc) Take a little time and buzz through the attendees in advance. You should be able to identify the key influencers through mutual connections.
Once you have identified who you want to speak with, save their name, picture and any notes to your phone. That way you can quickly reference key information before you connect.
In sales, we have to things to sell…our time and our knowledge. Don’t waste it at networking events by getting zero return on your efforts. Use my strategy and you will start connecting with the right people that lead to more sales!!