In the previous post, The Art of Networking, I covered The Do’s. Now it’s time to look at the The Dont’s of networking. Many small business owners don’t network effectively and end up frustrated because they don’t receive the results or referrals they’re looking for.
Networking is really an art form. If it’s not done properly, it can be pointless and time consuming. Small business owners who don’t network efficiently can waste a lot of time. More importantly, you may not make connections that can serve you.
- Don’t pile up the business cards. You’ll receive a lot of business cards when you attend networking events. Instead of stacking them on a table or putting them in a shoebox, create a system. Put them in clear plastic business card holders and into a binder. Make sure to file them according to industry. You could staple each business card to a note card, write the person’s name and industry on the card then file them accordingly in a file box. This way if you’re looking for a realtor, you can go straight to the real estate section;
- Don’t “chat” with the person next to you when someone is presenting a business. It’s rude and disrespectful not to pay attention to others when they speak. After all, they gave you their undivided attention when you spoke;
- Don’t leave a networking event or meeting when it ends unless you DO have to be somewhere else. Mingle with people and get to know them;
- Don’t just sit there, take notes. Listen to people when they speak and take notes because they may something that strikes a chord with you. If they do, you can speak with them when the meeting ends.
Small business owners, if you follow the dos and dont’s of networking you’ll be successful. Remember that networking is an art form. Take advantage of networking events and meetings and connect with others. Develop relationships with others and you’ll see an increase in your business and make some friends along the way.
Savvy Writer Rebecca
How are you at networking?