Networking is about being memorable; the art of the deep bump

Kevin McIntosh made a couple of great points at last night’s Newpath Network workshop. One of my favorite ideas from the evening was:

Networking isn’t about getting an immediate business lead. It’s about making an impression on someone. Your opportunities are probably not going to come directly from the people you meet, but rather from the people _they_ meet. Make that connection with people so that they’ll remember you.

I think that’s one of the things that I still find a little bit
strange about networking events. I’m getting better at finding an
excuse to e-mail people. Knowing a bit about a lot of different topics
helps. I love offering to send people more information about
something, and my trusty Moleskine notebook means I can promise all
those things and (usually) be good at following up. When I’m in a
large crowd, then, all I’m really looking for is an idea of what
someone’s interested in and a reason to get in touch with them in the
future.

For example, Quinn and I were talking about the Toronto Public Library
system at Wednesday’s !CaseCamp. Someone else jumped in with praise
for the public library system. I immediately asked him if he’d heard
of the library lookup bookmarklet and other cool tools. He hadn’t, so
I got his e-mail address and promised to e-mail him more information
about that.

I get the feeling that most people aren’t like that. Many people I
talk to at networking events don’t immediately give me hooks to get in
touch with them about, or spend time finding out what I’m into. I
noticed that when I _don’t_ actively look for those ways to continue a
conversation, don’t actively deep-bump people, I come away from these
events feeling that I haven’t really met anyone. One of the social
salons I went to was like that: random people talking about the
weather, little self-disclosures that I’ll never use, maybe a bit of
trivia that I _might_ pick up and remember even though I probably
wouldn’t remember the person I heard it from.

My awareness of this difference is shaped in part by Keith Ferrazzi’s
book “Never Eat Alone”, from which I got the term “deep bump.” I go to
networking events not to have full conversations, but to start them. I
guess it’s because I hate chatting at loud, crowded networking events.
;) I’d rather sit down and have coffee with someone (well, when I can
find the time to do so!), or have them over for a barbecue or dinner
party, or e-mail them a little tidbit that fits their interests…

Hmm, there’s probably a little article in here somewhere. How can I
help other people get the hang of the deep bump?

On Technorati: