Top 5 Networking No No’s

by Sandra Hart on January 22, 2014 · 0 comments

Two Women Shaking Hands In An OfficeNetworking works, but do you know how to work it? Here are some networking NO NO’s, check out the top 5 to make sure you don’t mess up your next networking event……

  1. 1.       Innuendo

There is a place and a time for everything, often at business networking events there might be a drinks reception or dinner included as part of the event. This doesn’t mean you are at a dating extravaganza! It doesn’t give you an excuse to chat me up. Innuendo is extremely irritating at business networking functions and can easily turn a great referral partner off you.

…….Always remain professional at business networking events

  1. 2.       Talking at a person

Too many people visiting networking events want to sell. This means that they actually work their way around the room pitching at people, talking AT them rather than to them. Networking is not direct selling (without the doors), networking is about building relationships, getting to know, like and trust people. Once you have built a relationship with someone and they trust you, they will often recommend your products and services to others. If you are just talking about how great you are and not listening to others, you get a reputation as a person to steer well clear of!

…….Listen and ask open questions

  1. 3.       Being derogatory

Many people think at networking events that they are with a pool of prospects; these are the potential end users of their products and services. Some people look down their noses at others, often expressing this to them in the process. I’ve heard comments like“Oh I never do business with “One man bands” I am looking for connections to businesses with 50 or more employees”  Many sole traders or small businesses have lots of contacts and contracts with large companies, they just won’t bother making introductions to someone who is derogatory to them.

……..Always treat everyone you meet with respect

  1. 4.       Shoving marketing literature in someone’s hand

This one really bugs me, if I wanted your business card, and your flyers and your brochure, I would ask for it. I don’t need it shoved in my hand before you even say hello to me. The only thing worse than having your marketing literature shoved in my hand is if you put it on my seat. Have a look around the next event you are at, is there a person somewhere eagerly bobbing between the seats, when you look closer you can see that they are putting one of their leaflets on everyone’s seat. Networking is about engaging people and forging business relationships, something which cannot be done through a chair!!

………Engage others and they will want to know more about you

  1. 5.       Exaggerating

The one thing you must always remember about a network is that things get round it faster than anywhere else, the tighter the network the faster news travels. If you misrepresent yourself or your capabilities you will be caught out. Never lie or exaggerate your abilities, it won’t stand to you, through networking you are building long lasting relationships with quality business professionals, any untruth will be easily seen.

…….Always be authentic

Hope you did not tick yes to any of the networking No No’s!! Happy Networking!

Sandra Hart
Sandra Hart runs BNI, Irelands leading business referral organisation, she trains and mentors members and leads a team who enable local business people to find new clients and generate new business. She is an expert on the topics of networking, word of mouth marketing and referrals.

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