Are You Making These Networking Mistakes?

What would it be worth to your business to increase your results from networking? What results are you looking for from networking? Do you have an intention set around networking? Do you have a networking strategy in place? These are some key questions that you should ask yourself.
I do a lot of networking. On top of doing a lot of networking, I teach networking skills for results. I see a lot of common mistakes that business owners make when networking and for the purpose of this article I have narrowed it down to the top three that will have the greatest impact on your networking results.
1. Do you throw up on everyone you meet with too much information? Are you a walking brochure? Do you ask and then tell or do you just tell, tell, tell and talk, talk, talk? Networking is about making connections. Ask lots of questions when you are talking to people. When you are interested in them, they become interested in you and what you do. Then you can leverage the conversation when you follow up with them (which leads me to the next mistake).
2. Do you follow up with those you meet or do you just let the business cards stack up in piles and stare at them as if by osmosis, everyone in the pile is going to call you for your amazing products and services? You are creating relationships. Relationships don’t happen over a short conversation. That would be like meeting someone and asking them to marry you on the spot. You need to court or date your connections AND they may not even be your ideal customer.
You won’t know that without connecting outside of the initial meeting. Even if they are not your ideal customer, they could be a great referral source or even become a good friend. Have a follow up system in place. Send them an email as soon as possible after meeting them and schedule time in your calendar for follow up phone calls.
3. Are you a hunter or a gatherer? A hunter is always looking to see who they can shoot their information to. They pass out their business cards like candy on Halloween. Then they hope that someone will call them to buy what they are selling. A gatherer gathers others information with the intent of building that connection into a deeper business relationship.
Who do you think has the power, the hunter or the gatherer? It’s the gatherer! When you give your card away without getting contact information in return, you give the power of connection to the other person. When you collect the card or information, you have the power to develop that connection. You don’t have to wait for the phone to ring. You can pick up the phone or send an email to begin the dating process.
Having a networking strategy and setting an intention for networking will help you avoid making these mistakes. Pay attention to those who follow up with you (FYI, there are very few who do). Because they don't, when you follow up you stand out from the crowd and create powerful connections. Remember your net worth is equal to your network and it’s up to you to build a powerful network to grow your business. Do not overlook the power of having a networking strategy.

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