Networkers that prey together. . . DO stand out in the crowd but in a most disturbing way!
Prey: noun – to be harmed or affected in a bad way by (someone or something). Stalking might be a better term.
Stalk: to follow, watch, and bother (someone) constantly in a way that is frightening, annoying, etc.
The single biggest mistake made in networking: ??? People who attend networking events, meetings, etc., and don’t have a clue that their actions are turning off more people than on. When they first meet you, they begin trying to sell you their product or service. They usually are carrying a handful of business cards, shove one of them into your hand without caring whether you want it of not and ramble on about themselves and their business.
What kind of approach is that? Perhaps we should start a “Networking Idiots Hall of Shame” and post everyone who networks this way on the wall. NOT! That would be a real time-waster for those of us who have a genuine interest in building close business relationships and who are committed to teaching others the networking strategies that have worked successfully for us.
You know who you are. You may have been networking for awhile but not gaining any serious results from your efforts.
It’s time to change your ways! Instead of continuing to irritate others in your community, it’s time to learn how to talk business without turning people off. Your networking strategy will fail before it begins if no one enjoys talking with you. Learn to ask leading questions, listen intently to answers and add your own personal stories to the mix. Initiate interesting conversations with people. Every word you speak does not have to be about your business. If you learn how to do this one thing you will certainly begin to notice a difference of how people react to you when you first meet.
The second thing you must learn is to avoid becoming that person at an event who won’t stop trying to sell his or her company at every moment. Doing this only annoys the very people you may need to meet. Learn to schmooze. Focus. Show a genuine interest in others as you introduce yourself. Be interested and interesting!
Dig deep. Do your best to determine how you might be able to help them. You may not be able to be in a position to assist them but you should at least ask. After talking with them for a while, you may think of someone that they should know. Make the introduction.
And finally, if during your conversation with them you think they might be someone you might like to get to know better, exchange business cards and follow-up to make arrangements to get together outside of the networking event.
Remember, if you always network the way you’ve always networked, you will continue to walk away from networking events with a fistful of business card but with no new friends.
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Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. Larry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! Invite Larry James to speak to your group! 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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