What I have learned when networking on the road!
The world becomes a smaller and friendlier place when you network well. As a professional speaker I find there are times that I am gone for long periods from my home and office. When I am home it is only for a day or two to pick up a clean suit and catch another plane. When I get back for the next 2-3 days I feel like I have road head, tired and unable to fully focus and concentrate. That being said, I wouldn’t change a thing! I meet the most amazing people when I am traveling and networking. Last week in California I had the opportunity to share the stage with Dr. Ivan Misner, father of modern networking and Lindsay Adams, President of the International Speakers Association. Later I received great feedback from both of them on how good my presentation was, as well as how I might improve it for the next time. This is the kind of coaching and feedback you can’t pay for!
I had dinner with Lindsay & Debra Adams form Australia and Phil & Michelle Bedford from Dubai where I learned about some of the local customs and laws as well as the weather and best times to visit their respective countries. Both were more than willing to make connections, give feedback and share contacts should I need them.
In Florida, and the NACM National Conference I met a team from the UK who are looking to expand their business into the US. We had a wonderful discussion about the differences between business in the U.S. and business in the U.K. and how we might be able to help one another. Later I met Danielle Austin, a national expert on Export Letters of Credit for companies who are sending their goods overseas. We had a great dinner together since we were both there alone as presenters and learned how much Danielle loves what she does and how good she is at it.
In Canada, I met John Sawyer, President of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, and the Mayor of Oakville. Paula Hope a trainer and speaker put on a fantastic event that I was able to present at. She and her team went above and beyond the call of duty. While there I met Christel Wintelsl, BNI Director and National Franchise Owner for Canada again. I was able to spend time and build a great relationship with Christel and Paula which adds great value to my business network.
So, why do I tell you all this and why do you care? Simple, networking is a 24 hour a day activity, anywhere you go. I could have chosen to hide out and work in my room at each of these events but I chose to network, to meet new people, to find ways to connect and build the relationships.
Networking is not just about going to events and meetings, it is about connecting with people exactly where they are and asking “How can I help you.” Good Networking is about listening to what others are saying, and not being the authority in the room. Good networking is about leaving your ego at the door and be willing to be present in the moment with the people around you. Good networking is a wonderful way to build not only your business, but your life.