Let’s face it, most people don’t like networking! Whether it’s that fear of rejection, fear of failure or just fear of the unknown it is not generally seen as one of the most comfortable things to do in business. However, as we all know networking forms an essential part of business development and is not something that can be ignored.
I have recently done a Webinar and listened to a man called Will Kintish (www.Kintish.co.uk) and he summarised what he thought were the 10 Deadly Sins of Naughty Networkers. These were as follows:-
1. Networking is not selling. Networking is about building relationships and whether you like the phrase “people buy people” or not it’s true. We all feel more comfortable buying from people who we know and trust.
2. Not planning or preparing enough. Consider Who, What, Why, Where, When, Which, How.
3. Not realising how vital first impressions are. Always smile and gain eye contact with the person that you are talking to. Try and get on to first name terms and make sure that the hand shake is right!
4. Thinking that small talk is unimportant. Small talk is important in the early stages of meeting somebody.
5. Talking too much and not listening enough.
6. Not asking the right questions. Try not to ask questions that can be simply answered yes or no – try using the words above (Who, What, Why, Where, When, Which, How).
7. Not answering the “what do you do” very well. Ideally, try not to be asked this question first. If you know something about the other person and their business then you can target your service offering to their need – but be careful, you are not selling!
8. Mis-reading the room. In terms of people to go and talk to always look for open groups rather than people that are closed in having private conversations.
9. Parking and dumping. Park don’t dump! If you want to move on to somebody else then don’t give them the feeling they are being dumped. Simply park them in the appropriate way – chances are they probably want to move on from you anyway!
10. Not following up having spotted an opportunity. Get a business card from the person you are talking to and ask them for their permission for you to call them. Make sure that you call them but remember you are phoning to help them not to sell to them.
Finally, in Will Kintish’s opinion the biggest Deadly Sin of a networker is not turning up to the networking event in the first place!
I came across Will Kintish because he does a lot of work with the accounting profession. However, much of his work and advice is relevant to other business sectors as well.
If you find the above interesting and would like to discuss it in any further detail, please do not hesitate to contact at Morgan Harris Ltd.