Building a strong network takes more than just running around and give out your business cards, doing snappy elevator pitches, and shaking hands. Building a six figure network requires that you BE at all times.
Be present at the event, pay attention to what is going on around you. Listen to the speakers, greet the guest, engage in the event. Being present at an event means you are not distracted by something going on else where. Too often we are thinking about what is going on at home, the office or any place other than the place that we are. When you are networking at an event, then be at that event at that moment. When you are completely present others are attracted to you, they will seek you out to have conversations with you. For some of us, this is no easy task, we are distracted by our smart phones and find our noses pressed to them instead of being in the moment at the event. When the cell phones are out and you are looking at them instead of participating you give the clear message that you are to be left alone, others will be reluctant to seek you out. Not a good use of your time and efforts at the event.
How many times had a conversation with someone in your network and you knew that the other person was completely not present? It is very disappointing because it is impossible to build a relationship with someone who is distracted. Don’t be that person, when you are at a networking event or a one to one meeting with someone be completely present. Don’t text message, don’t keep looking at your watch, don’t take calls or check emails. Worse yet, don’t be looking over the shoulder of the person you are speaking to as if you are looking for someone more interesting to walk into the room.
Being present has a dramatic impact on your life. Many years ago I asked my mentor and friend Dr. Ivan Misner how he managed both his family and business. He said, When I am at work, I am fully and completely at work, and when I am home with my family and completely present with my family, not calls, no work. Even if that means I have to work after they go to bed. Be where you are fully.
Be where you are sounds easy enough but in this day and age of multi-tasking and information at our finger tips 24 hours per day it has become a lost art. Make it your habit to stop and assess whether you are present in the moment or if your thoughts have left the scene. Practice being present, check in regularly to gauge your engagement, over time you will find that the smart phones are not so smart and the relationships you build are much better.