Every week I attend the meeting of a local business networking group. And at every meeting I see people making some of these common business networking mistakes. With business networking the big thing to keep in mind is that people like to do business with people they know, like and trust. If you don’t show up (so they can know you) and act likeable and trustworthy, you’ll have a hard time making this marketing tactic work for you.
|COMMON BUSINESS NETWORKING MISTAKES
Participation in business networking groups can bring a wealth of relationships and warm leads. My previous article on networking your way to success addressed some of the things that you should do when networking. Here are some of the common mistakes that you should avoid:
- Being inconsistent in your attendance – If you join a weekly group, plan to attend every week. Your attendance will keep you and your business top of mind, demonstrate your reliability, and give you more opportunities to build the relationships that are key to networking success.
- Arriving late – Late arrivals disrupt the meeting. Habitually arriving late sends the message that you are unreliable.
- Being negative – One of the things that participants enjoy about business networking groups is the positive energy. Always put your best self forward. No one will want to do business with you if you week after week you’re whining and complaining, or just sitting there like a lump with a negative expression on your face.
- Ignoring the rules – At many business networking groups each person in the room is given 30 seconds to stand up and say something about their business and the types of referrals they are seeking. Quite often someone literally rings a bell at the 30 second point. Don’t be that person who keeps going…and going…and going after your time is up.
- Confusing everyone – Whether you’re delivering your 30-second advertisement or talking one-on-one with a fellow attendee, you should be able to explain what you do in a way that doesn’t leave everyone confused.
- Expecting instant results – Business networking is all about building relationships and creating trust. In most cases people will need to get to know you before they’ll feel comfortable referring their contacts to you. This process can take six months or even a year.