Networking Don’ts – What NOT To Do While Networking

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 

Following is a list of what I have discovered will keep you spinning your wheels and wasting your time while networking:

  • 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.


Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include Sabrina Risley’s Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley

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.
Sabrina Risley

8 thoughts on “Networking Don’ts – What NOT To Do While Networking”

  1. If’n ya don’t like talkin to people or formin relationships, this is *not* for you! If you care to get to know what makes people tick, and learn how to help them, this bud’s for you 🙂 Great article as usual, Sabrina!

  2. Pingback: Networking Do’s - What To Do While Networking »

  3. Point #2 reminded me of an event I attended last year. While waiting on line to check in, the woman in front of me said “I brought 50 business cards with me and I intend to hand everyone of them out tonight.” Then she proceeded to hand me one – before she ever said “Hi, my name is ….”

  4. Debra!!!! This is a great story that illustrates just want not to do. If I walk away with 3 really great connections, I call that a HUGE success. Thank you for the chuckle!

  5. Pingback: CERTUS Professional Network6 Surefire Ways to Boost Productivity at a Networking Event

  6. I think it is important that we seek to have fun and maintain a sense of humor in everything we do. When you start to get serious about networking and stressed about who you may or may not meet, it takes the enjoyment out of the experience. Be prepared as much as possible (especially when it comes to selling yourself and business) but have fun getting to know people you have never met..!!

  7. Pingback: CERTUS Professional NetworkDon’t be That Guy – The Top 3 Networking Don’ts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *