Networking is all about building relationships. Over the past 14 years, I have attended hundreds of networking events and have learned that there are many things that you need to keep in mind to succeed at networking. If you would like to create a positive impression with those you meet, here are my top 3 things to never do at a networking event.
1. Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Never say “I listen to my customer’s needs” then proceed to talk about yourself and what you do at length. The people you meet at networking events are your potential customers/referrers/partners so if you mainly talk about yourself with them, do you really listen to your customer’s needs? Your actions will always speak louder than your words.
2. Leave Your Baggage Behind
Never talk about how past alliances and partnerships did not work when initially meeting with potential new partners. This is a great way to sabotage a potential partnership before it even begins. If you wish to develop a successful partnership begin with the end in mind. Ensure you are both aligned, have a “can do” attitude, then discuss how you could make the partnership work. If you want a potential partnership to work, leave your baggage behind. If you look for problems, you will always find them.
3. Do What You Say
Never say you will do something and then end up not doing what you said you would do. Always follow through – whether it be send an email, make a call, arrange a referral/introduction, etc. Your credibility is at stake – if you are unable to follow through on small things, how can people trust you to deliver on the bigger things and to form solid business relationships with you?
Next time you are at a networking event, remember to: