No, I’m not going to tell you to seek out every baby and kiss them. However, when you go to conferences related to your industry (almost every industry has their own conferences these days and as an Internet marketer, you can always go to conferences about Internet marketing), you should act like a politician. That means taking the time to shake people’s hands and listen to what they have to say.
Treat It Like Being On a Date
Do you know who gets the most accolades when they’re on a date? Whether you’re a man or a woman and whether you’re dating a man or a woman, the person who is a good listener is the one that everyone seems to have a great time with. It’s extremely rare that you will find people who truly don’t want to talk about themselves.
Most People Want to Talk about Themselves
More often, you’ll find that once you break through the shell, 98% of people love to talk about themselves, but the shy ones tend to feel as if no one will listen anyway and so they’ve learned to shut up. However, being a good listener doesn’t mean just murmuring once in a while or keeping your mouth shut. It means reflecting back at people what they say.
I’ll relate how this helps you at conferences in a moment; however I want to explain this concept. If someone is talking about how their mother is always nagging them about something or other (and let’s face it, who doesn’t have a mother who nags them about something? That’s a prerogative of motherhood), then you need to show that you can relate to it. Say, “I know – my mother is the same way about XXX.”
However, once you’ve done that, you need to steer the conversation back to the other person and get your own views in passively so that the person feels as if they are really their own views. It’s a politician’s trick, but it’s used regularly because it’s effective.
How This Helps You At Conferences
Conferences aren’t really about hearing someone speak. If it was, you could attend a webinar or even listen to a recording of the person. Conferences are about meeting people on the sidelines and getting to know them so that they’ll think of you and your business when a particular need comes up.
This means for example that at a conference for Internet marketers, I, as a writer might show up and talk to people about their needs so as to drum up writing work when they need me (although it happens at the moment that I’m really busy). I’d do it by listening to other people’s needs and trying to find a hook that I can relate to them on.
Finding the Hook
The key then is finding the hook. The thing is, you usually can do so if you are creative – if the guy talks to you about baseball, you can mention a great play you saw once at your favorite team’s stadium. If the guy is talking about his wife, you can mention your own wife and compare notes. If the lady you’re speaking to is talking about the difficulties she’s had in making her way in what is still a male dominated profession (Internet marketing), you can talk about your own difficulties and how you overcame them. The key is to be imaginative and open.
Act Like a Politician
Finally, when all is said and done though, you need to act like a politician one more time, by offering to come up with solutions to whatever problems these people have. This will mean increased business for you and more traffic to your website.