Everyday we are presented with opportunities to attend organised ‘networking events’. When you have the opportunity to network, do you handle it well, or is it a big, fat fail?
While online networking has dominated in many ways over the past 10-plus years, in-person networking – conferences, conventions, workshops, trade shows, etc. – is still a great way to meet and mingle with peers, potential partners and mentors.
Whether you are new or an experienced attendee to the networking scene make sure you stay at ‘the bottom of your game’, practice these 10 proven actions to guarantee that you WILL FAIL at Networking.
- Don’t turn up or attend the event – This one tip can singularly guarantee you success. If you’re not in you can’t win
- Arrive late – Demonstrate to everyone that you do not respect them or their time. By arriving late you will disrupt the meeting, interupt the speaker and miss presentations.
- Attend events unprepared – Don’t prepare or learn your short pitch, do not take business cards, props or flyers, don’t dress appropriately
- Don’t listen to ‘pitches’ – refuse to learn about other peoples businesses and ways in which you could potentially help someone.
- Don’t educate your referrers – Refuse to share information and facts about potential business contacts that you have with other networkers.
- Don’t follow up on referrals – When you are given a referral put it in a safe place and do nothing. Do not contact the referee and show how you and your service could be of benefit to them.
- Don’t invite guests – Don’t share or contribute to the group. By not making introductions you are not expanding and increasing the number of potential business opportunities.
- Be Selfish – During Presentations don’t share information or contacts, spend your time on your mobile device, if you do not have calls to make or messages to read, then leave mobile it switched on loud to ensure that it disrupts the meeting. You should then daydream.
- Sell, Sell, Sell. At every opportunity sell your product or service to anyone you have ‘cornered’. Tell them everything, relevant or not, as to why they should buy your product/service.
- Have 1:2:1 meetings and MOAN – Instead of learning how you can help each other MOAN and berate everyone and everything you can think of. Keep the meeting negative, none-productive and boring.
Additional Bonus tip: Slag everyone Off – Moan and complain before, during and after the meeting about everyone and everything (Coffee, food, lighting seating, venue, start/end time, organiser and most importantly the people who attended). Make sure no one wants to work with you or refer you to their trusted contacts.
This is not an exhaustive list and I’m sure you can come up with more ways in which to ‘Fail at networking’.
Please share some of the ways in which you see others Failing at Networking.
Inspired by Ben Gardner (Who is massively successful at networking)