“Networking isn’t pure to me.”
“Networking is phony.”
“I’m an introvert, so I can’t community.”
“It’s not a part of my tradition.”
Of us, networking is solely constructing two-way relationships to assist one another obtain private or skilled objectives or to search out life satisfaction. Simply ask Helen Keller: “Alone we are able to accomplish that little. Collectively we are able to accomplish that a lot.” Or Brené Brown, who mentioned, “Braveness begins with exhibiting up and letting ourselves be seen.”
Beforehand, I revealed 4 of the highest 10 forms of networking bloopers to keep away from. In abstract, they had been:
- Suggesting lunch.
- Being overly apologetic.
- Not having enterprise playing cards.
- Barging proper in.
I’ve a couple of extra to share.
- Dominating Somebody’s Time
Have you ever ever been to an occasion and needed to satisfy a couple of key folks? You patiently waited to shake palms with one government; nevertheless, one other attendee dominated their time.
Don’t be that time-dominating networker. Networking occasions are usually not the place to have deep conversations. They’re good for making preliminary introductions, so you possibly can comply with up and actually community later.
As an alternative of attempting to be “fascinating” at networking occasions or profession festivals, merely be “.” While you shift your networking mindset, you may be simpler.
Attempt these methods:
- Safe a listing of attendees or firm names previous to the occasion. Do a little analysis, and checklist your community targets.
- Arrive early, peer on the title tags of different attendees, and begin assembly others whereas it’s quiet. As soon as the dinner or speaker begins, networking time is over.
- Have your “go-to” starters prepared, resembling “[Name], I used to be trying ahead to assembly you tonight. Might I ask you one query? I’m pursuing a Prime Sorts of Networking Bloopers to Keep away from (Half Two) place at [company], and I’d like your suggestion on one of the best ways to satisfy executives within the [department].” Go on to recommend some concepts of your individual.
- Have a couple of generic starters in your again pocket, resembling, “What introduced you right here tonight?” or “I’d like to be taught extra about your background.”
- Carry a pen and paper with you to put in writing down who you met, their contact data (if you happen to didn’t get a enterprise card) and what you mentioned.
- Comply with up with anybody you networked with by way of LinkedIn (with a private notice within the connection request) and ship an e-mail. That is the place the true networking begins.
- Being Informal, Flippant or Unprepared
Sure, networking is meant to be a two-way avenue. However as a networking coach, I practice folks on the unstated reality about networking. Inside any given state of affairs (e.g., job seeker, gross sales, advertising and marketing, enterprise growth) one particular person has the position of “networker” and the opposite is a “networkee.”
Whereas the roles can reverse, the networker is the one who wants the opposite particular person’s help or insights. The networker owns the actions, follow-through, gratitude and follow-up. Much more importantly, networkers must give attention to making an awesome first impression and being ultra-professional. When doubtful, err on the formal facet.
The continual blooper is that networkers are too informal, too flippant or means too unprepared.
Not you? Have you ever (by accident) achieved any of those?
- Mentioned “Hey” or “Hello” versus “Hiya” or “Pricey…”
- Included joyful faces, wild use of exclamation factors or different written fake pas
- Texted quite than despatched skilled e-mails
- Made far too many grammatical errors
- Despatched e-mails signed “Susie” versus “Susie Anderson” with a cellphone quantity and LinkedIn URL in an auto-signature
- Maintained an incomplete or sparse LinkedIn profile with no photograph or a photograph with a pet
- Been glued to your cellphone as an alternative of shaking palms, making eye contact or, God forbid, writing issues on paper to point out you’re listening
- Forgotten to carry enterprise playing cards to change (see networking blooper No. 3)
- Being A Taker
Networking has some very primary etiquette guidelines which can be logical, easy and uncomplicated. The one behavior achieved most commonly and repeatedly is “get what you want then disappear.” However this isn’t networking. It’s merely taking. Sure, don’t be a taker.
Folks wish to assist as a result of they get pleasure out of seeing another person’s success or outcomes. Nonetheless, my estimate is that just one in 100 networkers does something past a thank-you notice (if that). If you wish to keep away from the “taker” label, do the next:
- Take meticulous notes of each networking dialog in a spreadsheet, together with names, dates, contact data, the place you met, and so forth.
- Instantly after somebody helps you in any means, ship them a thanks notice. And put a reminder in your calendar to e-mail them a thanks one month later.
- Usually, somebody will refer you to another person. Let’s say John recommends you discuss to Liz. After you discuss to Liz, thank her and ship an awesome notice to John, thanking him and updating him along with your progress.
- When you obtain a milestone, thank everybody within the meals chain. Announce your progress and thank everyone as in the event that they made the provide themselves. Guarantee the extent of gratitude is commensurate with the help of the networkee. Take into account espresso present playing cards, handwritten notes or extra based mostly on the graciousness of the particular person.
As you possibly can see, the other of being a taker is twofold: (1) to comply with up commonly along with your progress and, (2) to reveal immense gratitude. Ask your self, “Who can I thank right this moment?”
This text (half 2 of three) initially appeared right here in Forbes.com.