by Sabrina Risley
When someone says “you should network,” what feelings does that conjure up? Is “networking” a word that sends shivers up your spine and right back down? Have you been turned off by the thought of networking and avoided it as a strategy to grow your business?
If so, you are not alone. To some, “networking” has become a bad 10-letter word that gets portrayed negatively. It summons images of people with whom you’ve barely finished shaking hands, yet they are suddenly pushy, overbearing, self-centered individuals, shoving their business card or brochure in your face. If you have been subjected to this behavior, you know what I am talking about. I too would avoid networking if this was my repeated experience.
I have read countless books on networking do’s, don’ts and how to’s. Two of my favorite books are The Go-Giver and Go Givers Sell More by Bob Burg and John David Mann. I have also hosted hundreds of networking events since 2004 and have observed thousands of professionals and their networking technique, style and approach. In order to be most effective at growing your business through networking activities, I have certainly noticed a clear cut distinction between what not to do at networking events and what networking is not about.
What Networking Is NOT About
- Going in blindly without a clear goal for networking
- Talking to as many people and handing out as many business cards as possible
- Engaging in shallow conversations and idle chit chat
- Selling your product or service to someone you just met
- Pushing to get an appointment with the intention of selling your product/service
- Talking incessantly about yourself and business
- Recruiting prospects for your business opportunity
- Collecting the most business cards
- Drinking a lot of good, strong coffee or cocktails
- Being evasive about your business, with bait and switch tactics
What do you think is missing from this “What NOT To Do” list? Have you experienced any of these scenarios or people at a networking event? I love to read stories so please share them with me by leaving a comment below.
In the meantime, I’ll start working on a list of what networking is all about and what to do at networking events. Stay tuned.
© 2013 CERTUS Professional Network / Behind The Moon, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Latest posts by Sabrina Risley (see all)
- April 2017: Aimee Skillin, Social Media Languages - April 1, 2017
- March 2017: Jeremy Dadah, H.M. Brown & Associates - March 1, 2017
- Initiate and End Networking Conversations With Ease - March 1, 2017