Networking is an essential skill for every individual – be it a student, entrepreneur, CEO, tech or a salesperson. In the current business landscape, professionals are leaning towards various mediums of networking – virtual networking, in-person, hybrid, social networking.
Although there is no hard-and-fast rule for networking, there are certainly clear do’s and don’ts. If you have been trying too hard to network or you are shy or introverted, here are some worst networking mistakes to know that might be affecting your networking efforts.
How do introverts network?
Introverts need to make extra efforts to network. While the above-mentioned mistakes are to be avoided, here are some more tips for networking for introverts.
- Practice speaking to prospects in front of a mirror
- Introduce yourself in a jovial way
- Avoid awkward silences between conversation
- Try adding humor to the conversation
- Make sure to keep in contact virtually
- Participate in fun networking activities
- Make video podcasts to practice speaking in front of camera
Introverts find it harder to start and manage networking.
However, with a bit of effort in the right direction, even introverts can build a huge network of quality prospects. Introverts can leverage virtual networking events as it saves the effort of interacting with people who are not interested.
How do I get better at networking? Stop Doing These!
Networking is a skill that you need to upgrade and practice. Have you been trying hard to network but failing drastically? There is a high chance that you have been committing these mistakes unknowingly.
- Dress the occasion
It’s no secret how dressing well can boost your self confidence – whether it be online or in-person, find the right set of clothes that fit the occasion and season. You don’t want to be stuck with a heavy suit at a summer cocktail party.
- Show up unprepared for the event
Not doing your homework is the worst mistake you can make. When you appear at networking events, you must research well about the event before attending it.A little digging about the event, host, and attendees will make you look well informed.
- Being super serious
No one likes grumpy people. You surely need to be serious about networking but your behavior must not lead others to interpret your seriousness as arrogance.
Always start a conversation with a smile. This is what makes you approachable. Be serious when talking about business but some humor here and there can act in your favor.
- Boasting and not listening
Most people are busy talking about themselves. Not listening to what others say can lead you to missed opportunities in networking. Be a patient listener. This is a critical virtual networking tip. Indeed, you need to talk about yourself and your product. But it is essential to understand how to put that word forward subtly.
- Losing the touch
You may attend hundreds of networking events, talking to thousands of people. How many of your networks did you follow up? You may network with a lot of people but most people will forget you if you don’t follow up. Stop losing touch with your quality network by following them up in time.
- Focusing on Small talks
When you first meet an individual, it’s the small talk that builds the first impression. But focusing on that during networking events is not helpful. You must aim to strike a meaningful conversation to ensure the people remember you even after the event.
- Aiming for a larger network to finally end up without any network
Aiming for quantity over quality in the case of networking may lead you to have no network at all. Talk to specific people and focus on building a quality network.
- Losing the direction for networking
Have a strategic goal while networking. Don’t lose the purpose of networking to build long-lasting quality relationships with like-minded people.
- Missing follow up meetings
This mistake imprints a bad impression on people’s minds. Set up reminders for yourself to prevent missing follow-ups.
- No elevator speech
An elevator speech is essential to achieve the ask from your prospect. In 30 seconds introduce yourself, what you do and why you are here.Improve and improvise your elevator pitch to fit it in the conversation with a specific prospect.
- Lack of Research about the network
When you talk to quality people, you must be well-aware of whom you are talking to. Research well about the person you are networking with before speaking to them.
- Lack of good questions to ask
Good questions can help you get hold of the conversation. Do your homework and prepare your question so that you do not seem to be ignorant while networking.
Popping out lies to impress people can have an adverse effect. Avoid lying and creating unnecessary situations that might create complications in the longer run.
- Being disrespectful
Avoid being rude and disrespectful in networking events. This can repulse all the quality prospects. Also, be proactive in apologizing if you feel that your words may seem insulting to the other person.
- Lack of returned courtesy
Ensure to maintain courteous behavior. Good behavior can work well in the long run for networking.
- Not knowing when to stop pursuing
Be aware of your own value. Do not pursue someone who is not interested or does not respond to you actively even after follow-ups.
Networking is a lifetime process that keeps growing with time. A quality network can help you with different phases of life. Therefore, you must take networking seriously if you want personal and career growth. Ensure you take active participation in such networking events and avoid the above-mentioned mistakes to fetch the benefits of a long-term quality network.
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