Dale Carnegie’s 1936 book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” will forever be the iconic handbook on human relationships that may even transcend the Social Media revolution.
At the danger of over-simplifying the elementary psychological principles underlying Carnegie’s wisdom, you could say the essence of his self-help book explains how to emphasize other’s self-importance to your advantage during interactions between you.
In other words, everyone likes to talk about themselves, so when you take the time to seem interested, and listen to THEIR story, you make an impression.
Humility is a powerful tool.
What does this actually look like at a mega-VO-conference like VO Atlanta?
- After the “Hello” ask what’s the latest in THEIR world?
- How are the kids/husband/wife/dog/cat/parents?
- How was their trip to Atlanta?
- What’s their latest success story?
- Are they having a good time at the conference?
- What are they hoping to learn?
- Who have they seen so far?
‘Sound elementary to friendly human relational discourse?
You’d be surprised.
If the other person manages to get in one of those questions to elicit a response from you, make sure your answer is short, then move on to the next question for THEM on the list.
Remember their name, and use it when talking to them.
Ask THEM for a business card, and just give them one back as they give you theirs.
Make sure it’s Ok for you to email/call them as a follow-up to the conference.
Remember, you’re there to learn and to meet people (network), so don’t muddy the waters with a lot of gobbledygook about yourself (well…. a little, maybe).
For those of you not going to Atlanta…BRAVO! You’re saving your conference resources for WoVOCon V in November, right?
In the meantime, the same general principles work for email exchanges, phone calls, and personal encounters with prospective clients.
Remember to keep it short, courteous, and respectful, and very few will find fault with that. YOU are your business. Let your conduct reflect your professionalism.
See ya there!