Biggest mistakes of networking
Networking is really important when it comes to building professional relationships and finding new work opportunities. But, as with most things, there are some common mistakes you should try to avoid during your time networking. Here’s how to avoid the biggest mistakes of networking.
We’ve come up with a few big ones. If you’re finding yourself doing any of these, it might be worth tweaking your networking technique!
You’re dressing down.
At the end of the day, networking is a professional get-together. Even if it’s in a social environment like a cafe or restaurant, it’s still important to dress and behave professionally. After all, these could be people you go into business with, people you collaborate with, or even people you work for in the future.
It’s all about making a good impression, and if you rock up to a networking meeting in your joggers, you might not be giving off the right attitude.
Dan Woog wrote ‘a networking event can be a dress rehearsal for a job interview, but no one will help you get your foot in the door if you give the impression that you’ll slouch through it once it’s open.’
If you’re ready to get started, make sure those in your group are feeling that momentum from you.
You’re hogging the limelight.
As much as you’re trying to show everyone that you’re a valuable addition to the group, remember that networking is just as much about listening as it is about speaking up.
Read the room. You don’t want to make the other people in your networking group feel ignored or neglected.
If you’ve ever been on the other end of this, you know how exasperating it can be. It’s easy to tune someone out when they’re totally focused on themselves.
It’s important to show interest in others. Ask them about what they do and why they’re here. After all, networking is about connecting with other professionals, not just selling yourself.
It might seem counterintuitive, but when you show interest in others, you become more interesting yourself.
You’re expecting too much too soon.
Remember, don’t rush in there and expect a silver bullet. Manage your expectations – sometimes you need to nurture these new relationships before you start seeing the benefits.
It’s the same as any other relationship. You wouldn’t expect things and give nothing in return. It’s meant to be a reciprocal, mutually-beneficial relationship. You can only really build those valuable connections if you’re willing to put the effort in too.
Networking is a long game. You can’t swoop in on a couple of meetings and expect a load of referrals and new opportunities. You’ve got to invest the time and effort in too.
Want to join In Business?
At In Business, we’re all about networking and making those valuable connections that get you and the rest of the group results.
So why not join us for a meeting? Get in touch with us today to find out about our next meeting. We’d love to hear from you!