Stand Out from the Crowd
Yesterday, we talked about how to target the right people at a networking event. Today, we’re going to discuss a strategy that will help other people find you at a networking event.
Suppose you’re at a large networking event and you meet someone who works in an industry that you’re not targeting (we’ll call this person Jack). You decide that it’s not worth it to spend a lot of time talking with Jack, so you suggest that he talk to Allison (whom you met earlier at the event). Allison works in the same industry as Jack, and you think that it might be beneficial for the two of them to meet. So what do you do? You probably start scanning the room, trying to find Allison so that you can point Jack in her direction. The problem is, this particular event is so large that you can’t find Allison.
What if Allison were wearing something that made her stand out from the crowd (let’s say it’s a yellow hat)? Even if you couldn’t find her, you could tell Jack to walk around the room and look for the lady wearing the yellow hat.
Now, what’s the point of this hypothetical story? When you’re networking, wear something that distinguishes you from the crowd. Not only does this make it easy for someone you met to send another person your way; it also makes you more memorable (and the benefits of being memorable are numerous).
One word of caution: Don’t wear something so unique that you look out of place. If you’re trying to sell heavy equipment, people have a predetermined notion of what a person who sells heavy equipment should look like. If you walk in with board shorts, bare feet, poorly manicured nails and Birkenstocks and you’re trying to sell someone a reengineered chiller, you may be easy to remember and easy to spot; however, you’ve got a big credibility gap to overcome.
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