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Although I’m usually considered to be an outgoing person, I actually get nervous when I have to introduce myself to other people cold. I’m always self-conscious and afraid they will give me one of those looks like “who are you and why are you talking to me?” I challenged myself this Affiliate Summit and was pleasantly surprised to find how responsive everyone was to meeting.
I didn’t really set out to meet anyone in particular this trip. That made it a little bit more challenging because I had to introduce myself on the spur of the moment when I had the opportunity to meet someone. Here were some of my tactics:
- Be where the people are. Well, no kidding? Except not where ALL the people are. Introducing myself in a crowded exhibit hall didn’t lead to a good introduction. Instead, I took the opportunity to meet people in quiet places like the Blogger’s Lounge or the Trivia TweetUp.
- Introduce myself clearly but not make it a sale pitch. I didn’t even mention Sunshine Rewards to most of the people that I met. The goal wasn’t to introduce my business, it was to introduce MYSELF.
- Wait for an opportune time. But not too long. If you wait for someone to be totally by themselves to make an introduction, you may never get the chance. Don’t interrupt a conversation but at the same time don’t be afraid to step in when you see a break.
- Don’t act starstruck, even if you are. Some of the people you have the chance to meet at Affiliate Summit are great at what they do an almost “stars” in their own right. I took Chris Brogan’s advice and approached them like an equal (but with just a little deference).
As a result of the above, I finally got to talk to people like HeatherinBC, Murray Newlands, and Peter Shankman. I also had some great conversations with people I already knew but had never really “talked shop” with before (like Connie Berg from Flamingo World.) No matter what else comes out of this conference, I will consider it a personal success because of that.
I think that you make a really good point about Shawn, Daniel. He leads by example. I was on the Affiliate Summit Advisory Board for two years before I got up the courage to talk to him! Now I have no problem teasing him about everything from his sports teams to his videoblogs. I hope that someday I am important enough for people to be a little nervous about meeting but then they find out that I am an extroverted geek. LOL!
Daniel M. Clark says
I used to get nervous around the rock stars of the industry, but I don’t so much anymore because of something that Shawn Collins said to me (he probably doesn’t remember this, but it made a huge impact on me).
At Summit in Boston, before I really knew people like Shawn or Missy, I happened to be in the lobby of the hotel as a group was getting ready to go to a Red Sox game. I don’t know how it happened, but I ended up getting an invite, and Shawn gave me a ticket! Later on, I wrote on Twitter that I was surprised I got to go and that I was sure that someone like Shawn wouldn’t have time to talk to someone like me (yeah, my opinion of my place in the industry was awesome lol). So, Shawn writes back something very simple – “I always have time”. That completely revolutionized the way I look at people.
Two years ago, I would have cowered in fear at the idea of talking to Peter Shankman – someone who speaks at events, does keynotes, someone that has that rock star -like status… but it didn’t even occur to me to be nervous when I met him in the Blogger’s Lounge in Vegas last week.
I have Shawn to thank for that.
.-= Daniel M. Clark´s last blog ..Affiliate Summit West 2010 Recap =-.
I’m thinking next time I may just hang out all day in the blogger’s lounge and mess hall and stalk people. LOL!
David D Ochoa says
Hey sunshine, I mean, Tricia. Good to meet you at breakfast, too. Too bad I didn’t get a pic of you at the time, only your badge made it in, lol.
You look very approachable, and disarming, so go ahead and speak up a little more next time. At the very least, follow someone from the buffet line to their table, lol.
.-= David D Ochoa´s last blog ..Rebranding – What Am I Thinking? =-.
Eric – Gotta love Affiliate Summit for the, um…diversity…of conversation. LOL! Next time we might have to talk a little business to see how we can help each other. 🙂
Eric Nagel says
Hey Tricia – it was great chatting with you at breakfast (although the topics of our conversation will not leave that table). I know how you feel about approaching other people – I’m the same way. But I’ve found that 99% will take time to talk, and the other 1% really have somewhere else to be at that time. I’ve yet to find a real jerk.
.-= Eric Nagel´s last blog ..Jim Kukral Kicked My A** For 40 Minutes =-.
Thanks, Lori! We could take over the world if all of us gals got together and shared what we know with each other. I’m totally in!!
Lori Herren says
Heres some luv! It was REALLY GREAT to hang out this time. You are so much fun. And smart. We really need to plan a time for our girls weekend! Keep up the great work.