Networking Tips #16 How Not To Network
Don't spend all your time talking about yourself and your business. It's not about you it's about them and networking is not another word for 'sales pitch'.
Don't adopt a 'seagull' style of networking - fly in, make a lot of noise, scatter your business cards everywhere and then fly off.
Don't aim to talk to everyone in the room. Better to have a meaningful or more in-depth discussion with a few people than a fleeting exchange with dozens. Inevitably at any networking event you will probably only really talk to a dozen or so people - however many there are in the room. Half a dozen people you already know and another similar number of new people.
Don't sit next to people you already know or who you already work with. While you may feel uncomfortable talking to strangers - you're here to network and meet new people. Make a point of sitting with people you don't already know.
Don't automatically add everyone in the room to your mailing list. At least ask first. If you've exchange more than a few words, they may be interested in hearing more about what you do but that doesn't give you permission to 'spam' them endlessly.
Don't get there late. Firstly you'll miss out on valuable networking time but you'll also find it more difficult to merge in with existing groups that have already formed. If you arrive early you'll get to talk to more people as they arrive.
Don't forget to follow-up. I've said before - networking is not just about meeting people, it's about building and developing relationships. Make sure you follow-up with the people you meet.
What are your do's and don'ts of business networking?