Hi! This is Al Martella – thank you to Andrea for allowing me to share some thoughts about networking this week.
I always thought that I was an “early bird” in arriving at events or appointments – until I met Andrea. Andrea not only arrives earlier than anyone else, she makes excellent use of the time. In her book, “Networking That Really Works” she explains her rationale:
“It’s better to arrive early than late. Arriving late signals that you think your time is more valuable than the time of those at the meeting. An early arrival shows enthusiasm for the event and respect for other people’s time. Someone once told me when you are on time you are already late.”
An early arrival affords you the following benefits:
- A chance to meet the organizer of the event one-on-one and build some rapport with them. Find out who they are expecting at the event. You might ask “If you were me, who would you suggest I meet?” If they name someone, ask if they would be willing to make a personal introduction to the individual.
- Explore the facility and find out where the refreshments and restrooms are. New arrivals are often in need of a refreshment or restroom stop. Your directing them can establish yourself as someone helpful and knowledgeable.
- Be the first to meet other “early birds.” Your shared respect for punctuality will help facilitate the conversation.
- As others arrive, you’ll find yourself more at ease because you’ve been able to acclimate yourself to the room. There is a comfort to be in a room as people arrive as opposed to arriving in a room in which people are in already in groups engrossed in conversation.
The benefits of an early arrival are amplified if you are a speaker at the event. How great is it to know your audience before you speak!
What do you think? Andrea and I would love to hear from you and your thoughts and suggestions.