Networking 101

I’m going to Disney World!

Wait, no I’m not. I’m going to SeaWorld. To hang with Shamu.

Yep, that’s where Dan Kennedy strangely decided to have his latest  SuperConference.

So today’s another travel day…

As I’ve written in the past about attending events, you must do so with  strategery, as old GWB would say.

You can’t just show up and “wing it”. You need to have a plan. Seminars are all about making the most of every minute that you are there.

When I attend seminars, I take meaningful gifts for some speakers and  questions – and sometimes even advice – for all of them. I do my prep  and research beforehand.

For Kennedy’s event, I already have meetings booked for a breakfast, a lunch, and all dinners (plus coffee breaks) for the three days I’ll be there.

Following this type of strategy will make your trip worth 20x’s the effort and investment.

You should come so prepared that even if you forget everything the speakers teach you, that you should still have so much strategic association planned that it will give you a 20-to-1 return on your investment of time, energy, and money put into your travel.

Gary, our copywriter, attended the recent Ryan Deiss Traffic & Conversion Summit and made these networking suggestions for big events.

“When you meet people, ask them what is happening in their business. Most people love to talk about themselves and how great their business is doing. As you listen, interject a second question and ask them, “What is holding you back?”  Do your best to add value to their business by suggesting a resource or connection.

Get their contact info and promise to follow up with more information.”

But, Gary warns, “Don’t talk non-stop about business. Find something that gets  them to have a good time rather than the same conversation they have over and  over again. Share something that they’ll think is unique about you (it must be true) so that they remember you, because chances are, if you’re serious about your business, then you’ll  be attending future seminars and seeing those same people  again. That’s how you’ll build long-term allies for your business.”

“If the conversation is going to be a long one, perhaps because you are seated with them at a dinner or having coffee, work to find common ground and interests that you can discuss. Talk about your favorite books – that relate to their business or interests – and then send a copy of the book (ask for their address by email after the event). And offer to make introductions to the people that you know that can help them out. You’ll walk away as a value adder, and someone they’d like to talk  more to.”

Most people are real friendly, so don’t be scared…unless it’s Roman.

Finally, if you’re a bit of an introvert like your editor and sometimes struggle to get involved in conversation, Gary advises that you, “Simply look for introductions.

You don’t necessarily need to speak with everyone you meet in a one-on-one environment. Instead, when you see people you do know that are in a group  conversation, politely walk up and join them.”

Now you can see how important networking, when done right, can be.

Over at ETR, we’re taking our own advice, both at seminars and through our  connections to get associated with bigger and bigger potential partners.

Earlier this year we connected with Brian Proctor (son of Bob) and Tom Ziglar  (son of Zig). We hope they will be Platinum Partners in our 2nd Transformation Contest starting up in August.

Back at Underground (Yanik Silver’s seminar), I was able to meet with and re-establish ETR’s relationship with Brian Kurtz, a VP at the legendary direct mail company Boardroom Inc. Brian and I have plans to meet again in May and discuss an interesting new video project.

Remember, as I told you when promoting the Virtual Mastermind, success really  is about WHO you know.

So get out there and get to know more people.

If I can do it, anyone can.

Time for my flight,

Craig Ballantyne

“First, say to yourself what you would be; then do what you have to do.”
– Epictetus