There are a ton of books, workshops and tele-seminars out there telling us what to do when networking. I write a lot about networking strategically, building rapport, being a good conversationalist and getting the most out of networking because it is so important. It’s also important to know what NOT to do!
Here are my Top 10 Networking Don’ts:
- Be pushy and do most of the talking.
Don’t push people into buying, meeting or talking about something they have zero interest in. If they’re not asking follow up questions, they may not be interested. It’s time to ask them a question.
- Be Shy.
Remember when mom told you not to talk to strangers? Ignore that advice. The idea of networking is to have a handful of valuable conversation with new people. Treat networking as though it’s a gathering with friends… some you know, some you don’t. Get out there to meet those you don’t yet know.
- Talk to the same person for the whole event.
If someone is monopolizing your time, politely end the conversation and move on. On the other hand, if you’re hitting it off, that’s the perfect time to set up a follow up meeting to continue the conversation and keep networking. Bravo!
- Troll for a new mate.
A business after hours networking event is not the time for tequila shots and pick-up lines. Keep your drinking in check and smooth talking for Match.com
- Give too many details.
When some asks “So what do you do?” they’re hoping you have something interesting to say. Going into all the nitty gritty intricacies about your business is boring. Keep it high level. If it doesn’t spark their interest, going into more detail won’t help.
- Ignore non-verbal communication.
Up to 55% of how humans communicate is non-verbal. Learn body language basics and use non-verbal cues to your advantage. If they’re not showing signs of being engaged, it’s time to stop talking and ask them a question.
- Be too evasive about your business.
Why spark someone’s attention with a vague idea of what you do, only to pursue them, and find out they have zero interest. It’s a waste of their and your time. The right people are out there. Be honest and you’ll find them faster.
- Over-share personal problems.
Sharing a little about your persona life is a good thing. It helps us find commonality with others. But trials in your private life should be reserved for your friends and not someone you just met at a networking event.
- Add someone to your email list.
It’s easy to get permission first: “I have a monthly email I send out that includes more about what we’re talking about. Would you like me to add you to my distribution list? You can unsubscribe at anytime.”
- Complain, gossip or double dip!
Sabrina Risley is a master connector. She’s been hosting live networking events since 2004 and has welcomed 20,000+ professionals to those events. She shares her observations, insights and tips of how the top 2% of effective and magnetic networkers build their businesses. She also shares what NOT to do when networking. Get her complimentary e-book: Strategic Networking for Success.
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