With all this talk about what to do or what to say at networking events, do you still feel like things didn’t go exactly as you had meticulously planned (or rehearsed)? Maybe next time you should simply try to avoid these NOT-to do’s. The Young Entrepreneur Council at Inc. recently shared a list of tactics networkers commonly do, but shouldn’t. Here a few of my favorites:
- Don’t go with friends.
“But, Anna-Vija, who will I talk to? Who will have my back?” YOU will. The buddy system, while a good life strategy, is NOT a good networking strategy. Consider the other nervous networkers… You are much more approachable as a single, then a duo. Believe it or not, you are freer and more confident, too and you will notice the difference if you’ve ever made this networking blunder.
- Don’t be a stalker.
Ever. I’m sure we’ve all done this – you strike up a good conversation with the first person you meet and BOOM. You are BFFs, seemingly soul mates, fated to meet. Trust me, it’s not true. It’s just the networking delirium talking. Instead of latching onto the first person you connect with, MAKE YOURSELF WALK AWAY. Be confident and go meet someone new.
- Don’t network.
Ummm… what?! Just trust me for a second… Would you make a business deal at a networking event with someone you just met? Probably not and you likely shouldn’t. You can’t really get to know someone until you’re working with them – What is their style? How do they handle pressure? Instead, use networking as what it is, connection building. Your name may be on someone’s mind or you may remember this guy who has a great deal on brochures… with a little more research and conversation POST-networking deals are made and relationships truly developed.
- Don’t be a card spammer.
Don’t make it rain. Be discriminatory with your cards. I mean, you did pay for them, right? It’s not realistic for you to expect to build relationships with every person you meet. Sometimes, it just doesn’t make sense either. Consider who you would truly want to work with in the future and what best aligns with your business strategy. When you find those people, give them your card! For more networking not-to do tips, check out the full article: https://www.inc.com/young-entrepreneur-council/13-things-not-to-do-at-a-networking-event-ever.html
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