Networking Faux Pas – Part 2

Posted on September 14, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Faux Pas #2:Confusing networking with direct selling

One of my company’s directors struck up a conversation with a woman business owner at a networking function. When the business owner asked our director what she did, she said she helps owners build their businesses through networking and referrals. The business owner smiled and said, “I’m really good at networking. I’ve been doing it for a long, long time.”

Curious, our director asked her, “So what’s your secret?” She stood up straight and said, “Well, a friend and I enter a room together. We imagine drawing a line down the middle. She takes the left side; I take the right side. We agree to meet at a certain time to see who collected the most cards. The loser buys the other one lunch.”

The director curiously inquired, “So what do you do with all those cards?” Again, proudly, the business owner said, “I enter them into my distribution list and begin to send them information about my services. Since I have all their information, they’re all good prospects, right?”

This is a classic example of an entrepreneur not understanding that networking isn’t about simply gathering contact information and following up on it later. That’s nothing more than glorified cold calling. This is the “hunter” mentality.  Networking and referrals is about “farming, not hunting.”

Faux Pas #3: Abusing the relationship

There are many ways I’ve seen networking partners abuse relationships, but the following story is one of the most glaring examples.

A woman I know was invited to attend a 50th birthday party of an associate who used to belong to a networking group in which she also participated. They once had a long-term working relationship, and, out of respect, she decided to attend. When she got to the door, she looked through the window and noticed people were arranged in a semicircle, listening to a presenter in front of an easel board. When she stepped in, it was very obvious the partygoers were being recruited for a business opportunity. As resentful as the woman felt, she and other mutual friends found it difficult to remove themselves from the “birthday party,” despite the fact that the only refreshment being served was the company’s diet shake!

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    Helping business-minded individuals to create more business results in less time in order to "buy back" the time to do something truly significant.

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