Thursday, May 03, 2007

Developing Face-to-Face Networking Skills :: Idea #5

In the 1988 movie, "BIG", toy magnate MacMillan (Robert Loggia) has just been stalked at a company party by Susan (Elizabeth Perkins), an intense executive looking for any edge to get herself noticed by the CEO (MacMillan). In this scene he finally turns to her and remarks calmly, "Susan. It's a party. Try to relax and enjoy yourself." That's simply wonderful advise for anyone headed in the door of any business networking event. It's a party. Relax and enjoy yourself.

When you arrive all kinds of intense--fired up to get in there and do some business (a hunter) you will turn people off before you're ten feet away. There is nothing more uncomfortable and unpleasant than being the target of a hunter. Everything coming out of the mouth of a hunter is planned and pointed. There are no conversations, just manipulated interactions so the hunter can slip in pieces and parts of his/her sales pitch....

"CAN SOMEONE PLEASE ESCORT ┼░BERHUNTER TO THE DOOR PLEASE!? It's a PARTY! BACK OFF!" Please don't be "that person".

I like networking events because I like meeting people. I enjoy the stimulation of conversations, exploring interests, hearing stories and having a few laughs. If I'm guilty of hunting for anything, it would be hunting for more fun.

The great thing about relaxing and enjoying the moment is that business and relationships still find me. Not because I shot them and hauled them out like a conquering hero, but because I've found new friends in business.

Don't worry if you are a hunter in recovery. "Business" will arrive in conversation all by itself. People will talk about what they do in business, they'll be curious about you do. That's what happens at a "business" event. I don't have to force it happen. I can just relax and enjoy. So can you.