“ I’m Frank”
“That’s a terrible name!
“Heheh, that’s the only one I got!”
Oh I love the movie The Tourist and Venice is just like in the movie! Sorry couldn’t help bringing it up!
So you must thinking what do a tourist, and networking have in common?
Look back and remember the last time you were on a holiday in a foreign land, far, far away! The air felt different, the taste and spices were different and of course the people were different!
Do you remember the desperation and helplessness you felt when you wanted directions or just wanted to find a loo, and this total stranger didn’t speak a word of your language, and you felt like a helpless baby??!
Rule # 1: Connect like a local
The first step in networking is building a genuine rapport. Figure out what you and the other person have in common — whether you are having the same drink, wearing the same colour or are at an event of a common interest or you both just love to surf. Focusing on the similarities is the fastest way to building a rapport. The more the similarities you have in common, the more comfortable the conversation will be and that’s why birds of a feather, flock together!
You can use rapport building techniques from NLP but don’t get creepy, just be genuine! Remember that a tourist is always enthusiastic and positive energy is contagious.
That’s connection ;-)
Rule # 2: A tourist is curious
Be curious like a tourist- wear your tourist hat and ask questions to learn more about the person. A person is like a foreign city, and has their own personal micro culture. Be curious and try and learn the maximum you can about a person, their interests, their work or specialization, their value system, their routine and with the only aim to learn something new!
I like Weirdos!
Rule # 3: Be a responsible tourist
Responsible tourism is about respecting the environment, the customs and culture of the country and helping the local economy to grow.
Effective networking is like being a responsible tourist. Ask them, the person what is it they are looking for? How could you help them solve their problem. Is there someone you could introduce to them ?
And a tourist always asks for directions, so feel free to ask for help because sometimes the universe sends you answers in the least expected form!
Rule # 4: Learn to use a map!
Tourists use maps to find places of interest and as a networker you need to have your people maps!
Find Meetups near you, party with Internations and internationals or a with the select ASW community. Join the BNI, your local rotary chapter. The more diverse your network, the more you learn and the more the opportunities you attract. Based on your country you have local networks, informal networks and invisible networks!
Rule # 5: Learn to use your people GPS!
More and more startups are coming up with ways to meet locals, meet people with same interests. And there also exists a GPS to find people! It’s called Shapr! Everyday you are shown a handful of profiles, and you swipe right to meet the person, or left to pass. The others do the same, and if you both match, you meet over a coffee! Isn’t that cool!? Here is a quick overview of how it works.
Rule # 6: Be generous with compliments
Bon voyage! And don’t forget your business cards!