220px-ElvisPresleyAlohafromHawaii33 Years after his death, Elvis Presley is still alive.

Although he lives only in our hearts and for those old enough to have been part of his “era” in our memories, Elvis will always be the Icon of Rock and Roll!

Apart from his pure love for music Elvis was also a bibliophile.   He had always been truthful, warm and interactive with his friends and admirers and he  had the characteristics of an excellent networker.

In order to make sure you reap the full benefits of networking events, you should be able to network like the  King of Rock and Roll.

When you are a new comer to business the first thing you hear is to get involved in networking events and to socialize with the gurus.  Well that sounds nice, but what is the benefits you may ask?

For any newbie it may sound like an opportunity to meet the “right” people, share information with them, give them your business card and wait for their referrals, but often this is not what’s going to happen.

Networking is not that easy and for any newbie to ensure that the gurus remember your name, better yet, will be able to put a face to the name the next morning, you have to make yourself memorable (in a polite way) when meeting with them face-to-face.

Elvis was distinctive; he was a giver rather than a taker and that is exactly how you should be.  You have to cultivate your own uniqueness whether it is in your greeting, your elevator speech or even the way you dress.  You have to ensure that the people you meet are going to remember you the next morning.

Oh yeah, and another thing.  If you have taken business cards from people, make sure to give them a follow up call within the next 48 hours … and if you are sincere and compliment them on something they’ve said or do, they are going to remember you forever and a day.

Elvis was fully present and so should you.Elvis had always liked to treat everybody he met; whoever they were”. I am sure you have also experienced a person who, while you’re talking to him, keeps his eyes roving around the room seeking his next victim.  Don’t fall into the same trap.  Be fully present, look interested, take part.  That is what great networkers do.

Ask thought-provoking questions and then listen. The Open Random Supportive Networker, Thomas Power says:  “I find that the most powerful knowledge comes from listening to people. So I personally focus my mind on meeting 1000s of people and listening (very) carefully to them.”

When you meet new acquaintances, use it as an opportunity to get to know them.  Stop selling and start listening and you will build excellent relationships.  Pay attention to what they say and ask them another question about what they have just said.

Contribute to group conversations but don’t take over. The late Sally Livingston, a pioneer networking advocate said it best: “Networking is not using others; it’s a process of utilizing sources and resources and being one for others.”

I totally agree.  When you create value for others, you are creating value for yourself.  By saying one really smart thing instead of a lot of small talk, you will make yourself much more memorable.

In my eyes, a networking event is not a time to see how many business cards you can acquire.  No, it is a time to develop valuable relationships that have potential.  It is a time to make sure your fellow networkers are going to remember you and that you are going to remember them.

A tribute to Elvis:

“His music and his personality, fusing the styles of white country and black rhythm and blues, permanently changed the face of American popular culture. His following was immense, and he was a symbol to people the world over of the vitality, rebelliousness, and good humour of his country.”

President Jimmy Carter
August 17, 1977