Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Don't Blow It at Your Next Networking Event

Networking opportunities are endless, but many people make several classic mistakes when they attend business events. What can you do to avoid common mistakes when networking and make your time pay off?  

Look below for what NOT to do and how to turn a networking "Oops, I did it again" into a profitable business conversation.

Mistake #1 - Incorrect networking goal: "I want to make a sale."  
Correction:  Networking is a marketing opportunity, not a sales presentation.

Mistake #2 – Waiting for others to approach you. "I don’t know how to break the ice."
Correction:  Be the first to say hello and start conversations centered on the event you are attending.

Mistake #3 – Huddling with your colleagues: "I’m comfortable talking to people I know."
Correction:  Mingling with strangers shows your are confident and want to make new contacts.

Mistake #4 – Not remembering a person’s name. "Why bother? I’ll never see him or her again.”
Correction:  Using a person’s name creates a positive impression and builds rapport.

Mistake #5 – Avoiding small talk: "Small talk is a waste of time."
Correction:  Casual conversation allows you to quickly and informally exchange information that leads to hidden business opportunities.

Mistake #6 – Talking too much about yourself: "Let me tell you all the great things I do."
Correction:  Asking about the other person’s business or industry issues before discussing yourself allows you to position yourself as a problem-solver and resource.

Mistake #7 – Being a “know-it-all”: "I’m right – your wrong."
Correction:  Seek the views of others to find areas of agreement.

Mistake #8 – Being too quiet. "I’m afraid I’ll be boring."
Correction:  Reveal enough information about yourself so others  will know what you are willing to talk about.

Mistake #9 - End an encounter after a moment of silence or a negative comment. "Ah, nice meeting you. Bye." 
Correction: End all your conversations on a positive note by using the person’s name and repeating something he or she said that you found interesting, helpful or insightful.

Mistake #10 - No follow-up: "Why contact someone who can’t help me?"
Correction: Maintaining contact after an initial meeting allows the business relationship to develop and flourish over time.

Now that you know what to do, learn how to build rapport with everyone you meet at networking events -- FAST! 

Get Chapter 1 FREE from Don's book, Turn Small Talk Into Big Deals: Using 4 Key Conversation Styles To Customize Your Networking Approach, Build Relationships, And Win More Clients  

For a FREE PDF Download: Chapter 1: “What’s Your Networking Style?"  

For more information about how Don Gabor can speak at your upcoming meeting please contact him at 718-768-0824 or  

Don Gabor Conversation Arts Media