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.