This week I gave a talk for the New Jersey AdClub.
The topic was, "How to Make the Most of Every Single Conversation" (I almost added, "…as if I know" but I do have a few ideas). The evening started with a networking event (they had a great spread set up for attendees too — one of those long, long Italian sandwiches — unfortunately, I didn’t have time to partake. I was doing too much networking).
At first, I thought maybe I was in the wrong place because these people were great networkers. So many of them approached me and told me about their businesses. A video producer, Frank Farrell of Custom Video Productions, shook my hand then handed me his video iPod (and the earphones, which had never been used before) so I could see his 30-second demo reel. It was great. Some might say that was too pushy, but I didn’t think so. He was just showing me what he does.
I also met Paul Payton, a voiceover guy (that was obvious from the moment he opened his mouth) who immediately presented me with one of his promotional pens. (Another great conversation starter.)
Of course, I have to practice what I preach, and one of the points I made in my talk was this: when you go to a networking event, bring your needs. Know what you need, know what your friends and colleagues need, and go out looking for help. So during my talk, I said, "What I’m looking for right now is 1) a NJ lawyer who specializes in business partnerships, 2) a good financial adviser and 3) anyone around my age (mid-forties) who’s had a hip replacement, so I can ask all my last minute questions about the process.
I also wanted to mention that a friend in Toronto is looking to possibly relocate to NY and is looking for project management work. But I forgot, so I’m mentioning it here.
Anyway, I was amazed at how many people approached me afterwards with names and ideas and resources, especially for my hip. In fact, Paul (the voiceover guy) went to college with the surgeon who will be performing my hip replacement in November. Small world, huh?
Truly, all you have to do is ask. And networking events are great places to do that asking.
What do you need today?