Dawn Billings, Guest Author
Many women ask me, “What are the biggest networking mistakes women make when trying to market their products and services through networking?” Here is my list of the top 11:
1. Not networking. The biggest mistake women make around networking is simply not networking. Business Networking is one of the most effective ways to expand your circle of influence and create community recognition. People cannot choose to do business with someone they don’t know.
2. Reach for the stars. Women usually feel more comfortable with their peers. We can sometimes be timid about stretching and getting to know the stars in our community. Shine bright and join the full galaxy of talent in your community. Become someone worth meeting.
3. Say “NO” to negative self-talk. Take actions and make choices that strengthen your belief in yourself. Quite the negative self-talk. That critical voice in your head is motivated by fear. Don’t listen. Bring your best to your business networking events and leave the negative self-talk at home.
4. Market as hard as you work. Don’t just work hard, Market hard as well. Most women I know are very hard workers, but it does you no good to have a great product of service and work your tail off if no one knows about you. You have to be willing to market as hard as you work. Hard work alone is not enough.
5. Network with integrity. Be who you say you are, and do what you say you’ll do. Do not over promise and under deliver. Over-booking yourself can damage your reputation and your relationships when you don’t follow through.
6. Networking is professional. Don’t take it personal. Just because someone doesn’t choose to do business with you immediately, be graceful. Don’t take things personally. Networking is about being a professional. Just keep your head up, and keep at it. It works, if you are willing to keep working it.
7. Be consistent. Networking is not about immediate gratification. Marketing is about consistent touches. It is about you keeping your name in front of people who can refer you and use your services themselves. Attend your business networking events consistently. Let people know they can depend on you.
8. Be interesting. People love interesting people. Read, learn, grow. The more interesting you groom yourself to be, the more interested others will be in knowing and referring you.
9. Remember you are your best advertisement. How you look and how you present yourself are very important. People make snap decisions about who you are. Look your best, but not only that, get a coach to help you when you present your products of services. Use your words well. You often only have a minute of two to communicate who you are.
10. Emulate greatness. Find someone you admire and emulate his or her greatness. Examine what makes them great and copy trait. Great people often surround us. Learn from them how to become great.
11. They don’t listen. One of the biggest mistakes women make when they network their business is that they are desperate to tell people about what they do and the products and services they love. My recommendation is to listen first. Being a great listener makes you stand out. Once people feel like you have listened to them, they are more interested in hearing about you.
BONUS Article: Networking: A Woman’s Contact Sport
Copyright 2011 – Dawn Billings. Dawn Billings,CEO & Founder of The Heart Link Women’s Network, with 150 women networking locations in US and Canada, and TROVA Business Network, business networking for ALL small business professionals. Visit Dawn’s Website!
Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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