Learning from The Networking Mistakes of Others
Author: Dario Montes de Oca
If you are meeting an important business contact, take the time to learn about them. It’s one thing to meet someone, hit it off and schedule a meeting to find out more about each others businesses. So don’t commit the blunder of asking about family and kids and that sort of thing – leave it all out. Maybe at the very least, see if that person has a website and if so you can read that. Unless you have a very clear reason for your business teaming up with another, you may want to restrict any overt invitations to lunch, etc. Make sure you know what the person you are meeting looks like. This might be hard if you are meeting an online contact for the first time. If the person does not have any online pictures, this will be very hard to do. Insist on getting a updated photo of the person you are meeting with. This will reduce any chance that you do not recognize the person and leave them sitting there waiting for you. On the flip side, you should give the person that you are meeting a recent photo of yourself too.
Use the rules of social etiquette during business meetings with people you just met. Meetings are usually to feel out each other and see what’s possible. If you simply want to sell yourself or your products to the person you can do that through traditional marketing avenues. Networking is about building mutually beneficial relationships. Build a rapport with this person, and that will help create a stronger bridge between the two of you. There are many other details you should know, and that entails furthering your knowledge.
There’s really nothing hard about networking because it’s meeting people. If you make any of the major mistakes we’ve talked about here, however, you can cost yourself quite a lot of potential contacts. If you really want to excel at this, then that means you need to discover more and work at it.
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