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Article: 8 Mistakes People Make When They Go Networking and How To Avoid Them
by Places2NETWORK.com of Places2NETWORK
Date Added: 7/29/2013
8 Mistakes people Make When Networking and How To Avoid Them
1. Not bringing business cards
If you are going to take the time to network, plan ahead and make sure you have some business cards to take with you. If you leave the event and there is no way for someone to reach you afterwards, why waste your time networking. Plan ahead and get some business cards made, even temporary ones are better than nothing.
2. Not having a refined elevator speech
Along with planning ahead is making sure you know what you will say to someone when they ask "what do you do?". Practice what you will say and make sure when you talk about your business you have something compelling enough for the other person to want to ask questions about what you do. Not only will it help you in the long run with sales it will make a conversation easier to get started.
3. Not having goals for the networking event.
Just as in life you have goals, so should you when you go networking. A good goal might be to meet at least 3 new people and get their cards from them to follow up. Another goal might be to meet 3 specific people you know will be there that is good for your business growth. Think and plan accordingly.
4. Not working the room or being a wall flower
Networking can be hard, especially if you are on the shy side. Remember when networking that the whole purpose is to meet others in the business world. Meeting new people is expected at these events, so just do it. Walk up to a group of people and introduce yourself and get into the conversation. Don't worry, most people don't bite and you will be glad you did. Or if you find some else wandering by themselves, just walk up and say hi. Ask them "what brings you to this event?" and pretend you are the host of the event. It will easily make networking more enjoyable.
5. Not asking good questions
Networking is meant to build relationships, not to sell to people right then. Keep that in mind first and foremost. Remember the acronym F.O.R.D. to help you think of questions to get a conversation started. F.O.R.D. stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation, Dreams. If you ask about any one of these subject areas to a new person, you are bound to find something to talk about. This acronym can help in any situation where you meet new people.
6. Trying to sell to someone rather than relationship building
The worst mistake anyone can make at a networking event is to try and sell someone your products and services. People don't go networking to buy things, so don't do it. Meet others and get to know them. In the long run it will pay dividends whether they eventually buy or refer others to you.
7. Attending an event only once.
Usually you will not become best friends with someone just because you went to an event once. Try to attend the same event many times to meet the same people over and over again. Soon faces will become easily recognizable and you will find they are some of your closest business friends.
8. Not following up
The hardest and most overlooked part is not following up with the people you met. It has been said that it takes 7 "touches" to get someone to notice and do business with you (know, like and trust). Keep them in the loop and remembering you. Send them an email, call them or write a letter. Otherwise networking may not do much for you.
Next time you go networking, keep these ideas in mind and you will find that networking will help you far better than you could have imagined. Happy networking!