One of my favorite things to do as an entrepreneur and small business owner is to get out and network. When building a business, it’s very easy to get lost when connecting with people on LinkedIn through other social media networks but there is nothing better than meeting another business owner in person.
You’re there to meet people!
When you’re out networking your doing just that, meeting new people. It’s not the time to start selling your product or service.
When you’re at a networking event, introduce yourself and try and focus your attention on what your new friend does and who they are. They will want to know about you as well, but I like to get to know my new contact first then start to talk about myself.
After you have both chatted about each other and got to know what you each do, shake hands and then it’s time to move on and meet the next person.
All to often at networking events, people will get comfortable with friends they see or a friend they came with and just sit and talk to them all night waiting for people to come to them.
What’s wrong with this?
This one is obvious, you limit the amount of connections you could make by talking with people you’re comfortable with. This was something that took me a bit to get used to as it was a bit out of my comfort zone. As the quote goes, “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing grows there”. The next time you head to a networking event, keep that quote in mind and it just might help you like it did me.
This next one is something I can say with absolute certainty, you should NEVER do!
At a networking event I attended recently, I noticed business cards left all over the room on tables, stuck in picture frames and anywhere people would see them easily. So why is this a bad thing? It’s bad for many reasons but let’s look at this one reason, Who is the person behind the cards? You don’t know, do you? Not to mention that it’s a very pushy way to try and get peoples business.
For me personally, if I see that, the chances of me doing business with that person are very slim. As well, along those lines if you burst into a group of people, hand out your cards and then move on. That as well is something I would say to never do. Like leaving the cards, it’s very pushy and you have no idea who the person is.
With all of that said, what do you think about these examples of bad networking habits? Do you agree? If you have anything to add, I would love to hear your thoughts. Let’s have a conversation over on our Facebook Page in the comments!
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