In my upcoming book, From Receptionist to Boss, I discuss all the ins and outs that have lead to me to becoming a business owner in less than 7 years. It wasn’t easy, but having a strong network of people that supported me made it easier to the climb the ladder to success.
Here are the 4 networking faux pas. For the complete list, you can buy my book out in stores February 2016. Message me for a copy to be sent to you before it hits stores!
Being obsessed with collecting the most cards. Yes, talking to lots of varied people at networking events is, well, part of the point. But it’s not so much about the number of hands you shake or the number of cards you stow away in pocket after pocket. It’s about the quality of the interaction (and how well, and accurately, you’ll be remembered.) For those cards you do collect, write what strikes you about that person right on their business card. This can help you create a more genuine second meeting when that time comes.
Perfect the 30 second commercial (or elevator pitch.). In about 96% of situations, the power of a 30 second pitch isn’t that it’s practiced and slick and robotic. You are not a car commercial, and you are probably not selling cars (or commercials.) While it’s great to be able to get what you do across in a concise and clear way, it’s better to know your subject very well and give each situation room to be what it is, you’ll come across more confident and less rehearsed that way.
Let your ego run away with the show. Yeah, don’t do that. It’s okay to be totally excited about your latest gig – whether it’s a product or a sales goal or a capital raise. Just let your excitement do most of the talking, and be sensitive to other peoples’ stories and their desire to share too. Now and again I’ve run across a “gusher” at a networking event, and while they may have really exciting news, I leave interactions with them feeling like I just drank information from a firehose. Think of most networking events like micro-interactions, and try to keep it short and genuine.
Park yourself right in front of the resources and stay there. In other words, please don’t congregate and chat right in front of provided food, drink or facilities. It’s really easy to get wrapped up in conversation, and while you’re waiting for food or drink is a common place to make a connection. Just be aware of where you’re stopped, and gently move out of the way if necessary. It shows situational awareness and care.