Networking Faux Pas

Posted on September 14, 2010. Filed under: networking, referrals |

By Ivan Misner and Trey McAlister

Follow Up with ReferralsThink you’re a good networker? Make sure you’re not making 1 of these 3 big blunders.

After almost a decade of marketing consulting and referral marketing training, I’ve certainly seen a lot of networking faux pas. I’ve put together a few of the most glaring blunders in networking etiquette I’ve seen over the years that you should avoid.


Faux Pas #1: Not responding quickly to referral partners

This one really troubles me. Although follow up is a skill that many of us can definitely get better at, I can’t imagine getting a call from a networking partner and not responding immediately.  Unfortunately, this seems to happen with some regularity. Not long ago, someone I know had a referral to give a gentleman in his networking group. He called the associate and left a message at his office as soon as he knew the referral was viable. A day went by without a return call, so he called again, saying it was important to connect.

He was finally able to speak to his networking associate at their next meeting. He asked him why he didn’t return his call and the associate said, “If I knew you had a referral for me, I would’ve called you back immediately.” He still gave the referral at the meeting, and, to no one’s surprise, the person referred ended up working with another vendor because no one got back to him in a timely manner.

Treating each of your networking partners as one of your best clients is critical. Remember when someone gives you a referral, THEIR reputation is on the line as well, so not following up not only makes you look bad, it makes them look bad!  Return phone calls from them immediately, as it speaks to your credibility and reliability as a professional.  “If you snooze, you lose,” is apropos here. If the referral knows you had her name and number on Monday and took your time calling, that sends a negative message about your business.


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