An opportunity to meet VIPs should never go to waste just because of nerves.
Meeting your idols or people that have the chance to affect change in your life or career can cause major stress.
Stress is nothing to laugh at, it has some serious physical manifestations.
Ain’t nobody got time for that when you have a chance to network with the big dogs.
Embrace your opportunities with these top 5 tips to connect with VIPs.
1. Treat them as an equal.
Showing respect and admiration is great, but don’t fawn over this VIP like a 14-year-old girl at a Justin Beiber concert.
Gushing over the VIP sets you beneath them. You should do your best to relate to them as though you are two people of equal value, which, by the way, you are.
VIPs may have accomplished things you admire, but they are still the same breed of human as you.
Set yourself up as a person on the path to accomplishing goals on the road they’ve already traveled.
It’s just a matter of time before your hard work gets you to where they are.
2. Don’t shy away from small talk.
Stay up to date on current news, especially within the VIP’s field.
Relating to them on current events can be a great opportunity to show your worth and connect on common ground.
Small talk can be a great conversation starter, and lead the way for you to ask compelling questions you can learn from.
The goal is to create a connection with the VIP, so if you see an open door with some small talk, take it.
3. Show your value.
What talents do you possess that can be of service to this person?
Offer your services to them for free. The value that connecting further with this VIP will provide is well worth your time.
Back up your services with your talent-showcasing business card, website, or portfolio ready to go.
4. Be brief.
Don’t hold the VIP hostage.
Assess the situation ahead of time.
If this is a SUPER VIP – such as an important political leader, this may be your only encounter.
Plan ahead on what you want out of your ideal interaction with them and maximize the value of your time with them by being prepared.
In an opportunity to meet a more accessible VIP, don’t kill your chances of a valuable connection by irritating them and monopolizing their time.
It is far better to take an opportunity to set up a future one-on-one encounter with this person.
As mentioned above, offering services is a great way to do this. Another option is to ask for an interview with them or to take them to coffee to hear about how they got to where they are today.
5. Follow Up.
Whenever possible, follow up with the VIP the next day. This is an opportunity to remind them of who you are and, when and where you met.
If you were able to get them to agree to a second meeting, this is your chance to secure the details.
Don’t sweat over a networking opportunity. Use it to your best advantage by being prepared, calm, and confident.