Here are my favorite ways to NOT make a connection, NOT develop a relationship, and NOT generate more prospects, more referrals, and more business when networking.
Make it All About You
Ever meet someone and all they talk about is them? Most people don’t even realize they’re doing it. If this is you, see how you are? Talking about yourself exclusively is not a good way to learn, help others, connect, have fun, and develop meaningful relationships. In fact, most people will just avoid you! One less thing to worry about.
Sell, Sell, Sell!
News flash! Those people you meet at networking events, cocktail parties, conferences, conventions, trade shows, product shows, chamber mixers, associations meetings, golf outings, and holiday functions are not there to buy your products and services. Unless they tell you, they are! Save the needs assessments, sales pitches, qualifying questions, overcoming objections, and assumptive closes for sales meetings.
Assume Everyone You Meet is a Prospect
A prospect is someone that knows you or knows of you, is interested in possibly becoming your client – and you know this because they told you! Those you meet at networking events are probable referral sources. They are attending the same event as you for the same reasons as you – to grow their business. Assuming everyone needs or wants your products and services will make you sound like a salesperson when you meet them.
Never Follow Up
The best way to never do business with anyone and everyone you meet is to never follow up with any of them. Ever! Those business cards on your desk in a snarl of rubber bands – just throw them away. If anyone wants to get to know you better and learn more about your work, they can always contact you if they need to. Why go to the trouble?
Fail to Stay in Touch
Don’t look to establish next steps. Don’t stay connected on social media. Or when you happen to be back in town. Certainly, don’t look to refer anyone you meet business, invite them to an event, or learn more about their business over time. You probably have a big enough network anyway!
Of course, there are plenty of other ways to screw up networking and your business development, but these are some of my favorites!
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