We often hear and give how-to networking advice. However, I want to focus on some
networking “no-nos” to help us become aware of mistakes that many of us make—often
without even realizing it.
Don’t talk too much
If this is a downfall in your personal life, then chances are you are making this mistake in your business life as well. The most successful networking occurs when you let your partner lead the conversation— and you talk little about yourself.
When you ask lots of questions about their industry and what exactly it is that they do, you’ll end up learning a great deal more about how you can refer them than if you jabber on about yourself for 20 minutes. It is the cornerstone to building a trusting business relationship.
If you are unsure whether you are a jabberer, ask a close friend or loved one to be honest with you. (But don’t hold a grudge if they confirm you’re a chatterbox!) Being talkative actually is a positive asset when applied to other areas of your networking, just not during your initial meet and greet.
Don’t go to the wrong networking events
I don’t mean, “Check the room number before entering.” Though this advice may seem patently obvious, it is often a skipped step: Research the event before registering. Networking events are not one-size-fits-all. An event might attract an audience that is useless to building your business—and, consequently, is a waste of your time and money.
You can speak to previous attendees and get their opinions, or even call the organizers for a more complete picture of the event. You know the type of people with whom you are looking to network– so ask yourself if they are the type of people who will be
attending the event.
Don’t be too eager
Don’t approach networking as a sales deal. Many of us avoid being too eager on a first date, because it implies to the other person that we’re not in it for the long haul. Apply this principle to your networking skills. Networking is a long game, and it needs to be played slowly, in order to create trust and credibility. So don’t try and close deals after the initial meeting.
Author: Laura Hurren