Common Networking Mistakes
Common Networking Mistakes
- Some people think that business networking is simply a matter of showing up to meetings, handing out business cards and waiting for people to give them referrals. These people quickly become frustrated with the results of this “strategy.” It is important to us that you prosper as a member of our group, so we have included a list of “mistakes” that are commonly made at networking meetings which you can avoid.
- Selling – One common mistake networkers make is that they come to meetings to sell themselves, their products, or their services. This is a huge turn-off to almost everyone. Business networking is about building relationships, even becoming friends. Once people get to know YOU (not just your business), they refer people to YOU – not your business.
- It’s all about me. Networkers who have an “It’s about me” attitude will not enjoy much success with a business networking group. Much like a good friendship, networking is a two-way street. To be successful as a business networker, you must genuinely be interested in the other members (just as in a good friendship).
- Only out to get business. If the only purpose you are joining a businessnetworking group is to get business, you will likely be disappointed with the results. Yes, the overall purpose of business networking is to generate more business for the members, but that works most effectively as a result of building quality relationships, which takes time. Effective business networkers help other members generate more business, which is then reciprocated.
- Giving Out Business Cards. Yes, we hand out business cards here, but don’t make that the primary purpose of going to a networking group. Effective business networking innately involves getting to know fellow members, which requires active listening. This “rule” ties in with “It’s all about me.” For an effective business networker, it is very much about the other members, which is why they go to business networking meetings to collect business cards
- Underestimating the importance of regular attendance at a meeting. In a once a month setting, if one meeting is missed, the members of that group will not typically see you for 8 more weeks, which renders your networking efforts ineffective. We encourage members to pick a group that will fit into their schedule on a regular basis, so that they stay fresh in the minds of other members.
- Overemphasizing the effectiveness of a presentation. Many people rely upon their 30 second commercial or their 5 minute presentation to grow their business. Talking about your profession or your unique capability is only the beginning of the process. It may result in a random business transaction, however if your intention is to have a recurring source of referrals, you must establish trust with the other members of the group. This is only accomplished by building relationships.
- Assuming that the person they are speaking to or doing a one on one with is a waste of time because they are not a potential client for the service or product that you offer. The opposite is almost always true. You never know who someone knows that may be in need of what you have to offer. It is a limited way of thinking that can really inhibit your business growth.
- Using a one on one meeting to socilit a product or service to another member. Although we are all trying to sell something, the purpose of a one on one should be to get to know about their business, as well as tell about yours. It is to establish trust with another individual, with some of the most critical factors being that you show up on time, return e-mails and phone calls, etc.
- Over soliciting on the LV Elite Network facebook page. Although this is not a common problem, some new members enthusiastically over post on the wall trying to solicit business. The purpose of our Facebook page is to announce business events, give testimonials to someone else in the group or to communicate information about future or past meetings.