7 deadly networking sins

Posted By PrintElf

Like it or not, networking is an important part of your business. After attending quite a few events I’d like to offer a few observations.




1. They hang around with people they know

It’s natural to gravitate towards people you know. Whether they are from the same company or the same town. That in itself is not inducing in getting to know new interesting people. Networking with people you already know might bond a friendship but hamper new prospective. There might also be a fear of the unknown or rejection.


2. It’s about them

Let’s be honest and totally blatant – most people who network with you want to feel out what’s in it for them. Sure, you don’t go to these events just for fun, but for worthy business connections. There is however a certain type of people that virtually take over a conversation. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, blathering about themselves. Not only will that kill any connection but annoy anybody in its vicinity. Ironically, even an arrogant person would not like that. Therefore, may I suggest to listen what the other person has to say and keep a healthy balance between within the conversation.


3. They are unprepared

Too often people have lame excuses for not having a business card. They either just ran out of it, are in the process of printing new “better looking” cards or left them at the hotel, are some of the excuses. Same with product information. I don’t like to look at a small cell phone screen for that sales pitch. Get some tri-folds printed and hand them out. They fit into a small pocket and make a memorable impression. Talking of been prepared, may I suggest the one minute sales pitch. There is nothing worse than having to listen to: “It’s difficult to explain”, “do you understand”, “like I said before” etc. In short, this indicates the presenter does not have his/her ducks in a row. Any long winded explanation of what you do kills the listener’s interest after one minute. So practice and make it short and sweet.


4. They don’t know how to greet

Making the right approach is a door opener. Feel relaxed and greet someone the way you would in a plane, trade show or gathering. Too often at network evens people talk about themselves and their products before the “door is open”. Listen to the other party and make it an exchange of give and take.


5. They don’t stop talking

Some people have a tremendous urge to hear themselves. I touched this point a bit before. I think the goal of a networking event is to ask questions, listen, present yourself prepared and engage the other person.


6. They have lame business cards

I personally am a sucker for good design. Good design gives the feeling of confidence, quality, strength and accomplishment. Why do people buy well designed products, like Mercedes? For the same reason I think you should invest in good design. A proper logo and great composition makes you look groomed. Did you ever get one of those cheap Vista business cards? I can easily spot their designs and quality. Isn’t it worth your business to spend a few dollars more to look part? Have a corporate business card you can be proud of.


7. They don’t sell themselves

Selling yourself is an art. It’s a finally honed craft that I think is acquired at birth. But with a bit of tact your networking skill can be honed. I think it ties many of the above points together.


Read more on how to network

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