1. Mistake #1: Giving someone your business card before they even ask for it or when they really didn’t want it. Note a person may never ask for your business card and you may never need to give it to them in order to effectively network. The process of networking is really about getting to know the other person not knowing what they do or even passing out a business card. A person is more likely to become interested in what you do or how they can help you if they get to know you as a real person first and not specifically as a business person.
2. Mistake #2: Not getting to know the person before you set up lunch or diner or coffee or tea with them. This is very close to #1. Knowing a person means not only that you know their name and what they do, but knowing what their hopes and dreams, and interest are. Family and children often make for a really good conversation should they mention it: like I have to go get me children from school, etc. What they talk about may or may not tie into what is on their business card or your business card. But remember that each person has the potential of knowing at least ten other people who need your service. If the person you are trying to connect with likes you and their outside interest may perhaps be yours and let’s say you become friendly, they will for sure remember you when the right time comes to recommend you to their friends or business associates…yes, for business.
3. Mistake #3: Talking about yourself and not giving the other person a chance to talk. This happens a lot, because we are all eager to tell about what we do and how good we are at doing it. But the truth of the matter is no body cares how good you are unless they are interviewing you for their next brain surgery or you are having a formal interview! In reality people like to talk about themselves. Start with do you live in the vicinity and I bet they will start talking about themselves whether they live in the vicinity or not. If you listen closely you most likely will get to ask them more about themselves even leading to their hobbies. Then you can move on to what kind of work do they do. But if you do not get a chance to talk about work or profession on the first encounter, if you have built enough relationship with them, you will surely get to start talking about what they do the next time.
4. Mistake #4: Your time to show and tell ends up being too long and not very interesting to the other person. You have to know when to stop taking about yourself. If the other person is not interested in what you have to say, get use to that being alright, because it is alright. It is far better to have a friendly relationship that can go on to become even friendlier, if you keep them interested in you and what you do by just saying enough to wet their appetite about you.
5. Mistake #5: Calling and leaving message after message after message. Of course they could be busy, but if they haven’t called you back by now they might have other plans or they just might not want to talk to you. (What a position to be in. You may have burnt a bridge.) This is a sign of neediness on your part. You are not needy. There are thousands of “other” people out there who really do need your services. All you have to do is find them. You may say this is easier said than done. But just consider, when your target is specific you will know who they are and where they are and you will go straight to them. They may even go straight to you, because you got to know one of their buddies through proper networking and the buddy talked so much about you that the target just can’t wait to meet you so you can solve their problem.
Think about this. It is empowering to be able to network effectively. It is empowering because when you really do network effectively you put yourself in the position of the helper who can bring true abundance and whatever the other person needs either through your own personal efforts or by leading one of your friends or contacts to them. That has got to be powerful!
About the author:
Dr. Beverly Tillman, author and speaker, teaches business and professional women how to gain more independence and become “outrageously” successful in their business. She is the transformational and energetic Speaker and Work Shop leader all women groups should love to have. Look for her new book in late November: FOR WOMEN ONLY: How to Become “Outrageously” Successful in Business. For more information contact Dr.Beverly at http://www.leapoffaithforwomen.com