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The Real Secret To Networking: Be Approachable

Imb_typeaguy_2 A few weeks ago I gave a different kind of presentation to what I’m used to giving. It was to a room full of young professionals from all kinds of industries. Not a marketing group or even people who’s careers had anything to do with marketing. The event was through a group called NetSAP, which brings together south asian professionals for "networking" (which really meant equal parts networking for business and networking for relationships and dating). My session was all about networking effectively, a tough topic in this crowd of twenty-somethings because they have likely heard all kinds of advice like this before. Imagine speaking to a group like this. What advice would you give? How would you do something that was immediately useful and different? I love speaking at events like this because it is a challenge to think beyond using the same ten slides on powerpoint or canned presentation. I had no PPT for it.

Instead I started with a video of a young boy on the streets of India that I have blogged about before who has learned more than a dozen languages just to be able to sell a peacock feather fan to tourists. From there, my main aim was to challenge the common wisdom about the need to have a "type-A personality" in order to network successfully. My point was that the "A" in this case should stand for "approachability" and so I talked about putting yourself into positions and having an attitude where you make it ok for people to talk to you … something too many of us forget. As I head into many events this fall, I intended to remember my own advice, so if you will be in any of the cities listed on my events page, please do come up and introduce yourself, and I’ll promise to bring my real type-A personality and be approachable.

10 thoughts on “The Real Secret To Networking: Be Approachable”

  1. Rohit, great minds must think alike because I literally just posted something on the same topic. I attended a networking event yesterday through IABC that had me face to face with a number of students (coincidently, I’m a new grad myself– I AM part of the 20-something’s you speal of). The advice that I found to stick was, like you’ve mentioned, was being magnetic, approachable.

    Reply
  2. Rohit, great minds must think alike because I literally just posted something on the same topic. I attended a networking event yesterday through IABC that had me face to face with a number of students (coincidently, I’m a new grad myself– I AM part of the 20-something’s you speal of). The advice that I found to stick was, like you’ve mentioned, was being magnetic, approachable.

    Reply
  3. I agree, this is something I’m working on more lately, and often times talking with people just to be friendly can lead to great business deals just because you were approachable in the first place.

    Talking is a lost art in business today, as we tend to hide behind email and other gadgets, but talking to people and networking in the real world can definitely be profitable when you are aprroachable.

    Reply
  4. I agree, this is something I’m working on more lately, and often times talking with people just to be friendly can lead to great business deals just because you were approachable in the first place.

    Talking is a lost art in business today, as we tend to hide behind email and other gadgets, but talking to people and networking in the real world can definitely be profitable when you are aprroachable.

    Reply
  5. Thanks for re-posting the link to those videos, for I hadn’t seen them before. Very powerful and stuff that everyone should follow.

    Being approachable is important, and a trait that many people forget.

    Reply
  6. Thanks for re-posting the link to those videos, for I hadn’t seen them before. Very powerful and stuff that everyone should follow.

    Being approachable is important, and a trait that many people forget.

    Reply

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About Rohit

A keynote speaker on trends, innovation, marketing, storytelling and diversity.

Rohit Bhargava is on a mission to inspire more non-obvious thinking in the world. He is the #1 Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of eight books and is widely considered one of the most entertaining and original speakers on disruption, trends and marketing in the world.

Rohit has been invited to keynote events in 32 countries … and over the past year, given more than 100 virtual talks from his home studio. He previously spent 15 years as a marketing strategist at Ogilvy and Leo Burnett and also teaches marketing and storytelling as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.

He loves the Olympics, actively hates cauliflower and is a proud dad of boys.

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