If you’re going to a networking event, in most cases, you’re looking for new people to do business with. Avoid these ten common mistakes and you’ll be more likely to make meaningful connections with potential new customers.
1) Saying Too Much – Are you rambling on and on? Are you are making your introduction up on the spot? As you see their eyes glaze over, do you just keep talking, hoping something brilliant will eventually come out of your mouth? (I like to call this “showing up and throwing up.”)
2) Saying Too Little – When someone asks you what you do for a living, are you giving them a meaningful answer? Or are you just saying “I’m a _______________________?” (Fill in the blank: Accountant, Video Producer, Lawyer, etc.)
3 through 5) The 3 P’s – Pitching, Persuading & Pushing – OH MY! This is what happens when you tell your new contact all about you instead of asking about them. Remember, when you TELL they RESIST, When you ASK, they ASSIST!
6) A Weak Introduction – Do you suffer from the inability to say what you do in a way that is succinct, engaging and compelling? Does your introduction tell what problem do you solve?
7) Working the Room for Leads – Are you always looking for what you can “get” from the event? Coming from the frame of mind that “someone in this room wants or needs what I have to offer and I have to find them before the night is over” isn’t productive. The problem with that is when you meet someone who doesn’t meet your ideal customer profile you want to dismiss them as quickly as you can and try to find someone better to talk to. (I call that “Shoot the Wounded and Keep Going.”) However, when you do that you have just missed out on all the people they are connected to including their best friend who may just happen to be someone you are salivating to meet. OOPS!
8) Worrying About Saying or Doing It “Right” – This is the # 1 reason people hesitate and miss opportunities. You see, whenever you are worried, your focus is all on you. Take the pressure off by focusing on them! Ask them what they do and what they might be looking for, then watch how quickly you calm down as you make a connection. Givers gain!
9) Not Knowing How to Gracefully Exit. When you encounter a “Chatty Cathy” or a “Chatty Ken,” it’s good to have a way to politely exit the conversation so you can move along and meet other people. (This is one of the four steps we work on and practice at the Art of Networking events!)
10) Thinking You Have to Be an Extrovert – Anyone can become a strong networker. In fact, introverts make great networkers because they possess a valuable skill critical to networking, can you guess what that is? Tell us in the comments!
At “The Art of Networking with Denise Roberts,” you’ll learn how to network like a pro, even if you’re an introvert! Follow us on social media to make sure you’re notified of our next public “Art of Networking” event.