Is it your greatest fear that you might show up on America’s Funniest Videos or on Epic Fail? Have you ever wondered if you are going to be found on one of those “blooper” videos or that a picture of you will show up on a blog about “10 Networking No-Nos?” Never fear, I’m here to prevent that. I’ve got your back!
Networking is not just lots of LinkedIn connections or dealing out business cards at an event. In Networking No-Nos – Part 1, I talked about good professional networking. Here in Part 2, are pointers on event networking.
No-No #7: Don’t show up to a networking meeting or event empty-handed.
Ninety percent of people who ask for network time show up empty-handed. They assume they can remember everything the other person says. Trust me, that’s impossible! What if your contact wanted to give you 3 names and phone numbers right then?
The most important reason to take notes is to show respect and gratitude for the time they are giving. The notes you take will help you in your follow up, too. And use good old fashioned pen and paper for your notes. Don’t use your phone or tablet; it interrupts your eye contact and puts up an electronic barrier.
No-No #9: Don’t run out of business cards at any event or meeting. Ever! Period.
There is NO excuse that will justify not having plenty of small pieces of paper with your contact information on it. We call them business cards. They are cheap. You should have boxes of them the trunk of your car. If you’re between jobs, print them at home or order online. And include your LinkedIn profile.
No-No #8: Don’t dominate someone’s time at a large network event.
Your objective at large events is to make as many quality connections as possible; target Initial connections and not long-term networking. A large event is not the place or time to go deep on a subject or to solicit someone’s advice. The person you are talking to wants to network with others, and other networkers want a chance to talk to him or her, too!
No-No #10: Talking too much.
How to keep from dominating the conversation? Here are some tricks:
- Be interested, not interesting
- Use my “Law of 3s.” Make 3 short bullet points about something then stop talking. Zip it!
- Remember that networking is all about building 2-way relationships. That also means 2-way conversations. Otherwise, you’re USING.
Oh, I have lots more, but avoid with these 10 No-Nos and you’ll build a professional network that will support and encourage you and create friends for life.
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