Arrington on connecting with people
Eric Barker stashed this in Work
Don't make me start a Useful stash! I'm stashing this in Interesting.
Arrington offers some excellent tips on making the most of our interactions:
1. Never underestimate the power of an introduction. Approaching someone randomly should be your last option.
2. Don’t approach someone when they are clearly in the middle of something.
3. Don’t approach someone when they are in the middle of a mob trying to get their attention.
4. If you get someone’s business card, never call them. A random call to their cell phone is never welcome. Send an email.
5. When you approach someone, don’t assume they know you even if they do. Instead, say “Hey Bob, It’s Mike from TechCrunch, good to see you again” slowly and clearly. You’ve just told them your name, where you work, and the fact that you’ve previously met. Trust me, they are thankful for all that information, and everything will go smoothly from there.
6. If you forget to tell them who you are, don’t get offended if they don’t know.
7. If you’ve blown it to this point, for the love of God fix it. Drop in something like “yeah, since I met you at the whatever event we’ve been rocking at TechCrunch. We finally launched that new blog on bicycles.” Bam, you’ve saved the situation. Notice how much better the conversation goes from there.
8. Look for body language. If you pay attention you can tell how engaged they are. If they aren’t engaged (looking away, never talking, etc.) don’t try too hard to get them to focus. Instead, move on to what you want. Get their card, see if a meeting or a call is possible and ask for the best way to make that happen. Some people think the more time they spend with a person the more likely they’ll get what they want. In reality, it’s the opposite. Don’t take time just because they are too polite to end the conversation.
Some of the most well known people I know never assume people they talk to know who they are. Sequoia Capital partner Roelof Botha, for example, introduces himself to me every time I see him, and asks if now is a good time to talk. I’ve known him since 2006, and it’s far from necessary. But I always appreciate how polite he is.
Great tips for networking. Thanks Eric!