Contest participants tell all. The results are in and a winner has been announced for our Facebook contest based on networking faux pas. This contest allowed fans to draw from their own experiences and share what really annoys them when networking. These responses are uncensored, fresh, and telling. If you are going to invest 5 minutes in marketing advice, then you must read this summary!
So.. What SHOULDN’T You Do?
Interestingly, the responses hit on some key areas, some that people don’t always think of and some where you would think it would be common sense, yet people still just don’t get it. You may be making these same mistakes and don’t even know it!
DON’T: Have bad breath! – This was our winner.
Unbelievably, people come to networking events look’n good and equipped with business cards; however, they neglect their breath!!! This could seriously jeopardize your networking efforts as soon as you open your mouth…literally.
- DON’T’: Say inappropriate things – use a filter! You don’t want to be known as “that guy/girl.” You always hear that you shouldn’t drink during business functions, and this is why! Stick to a two drink maximum.
- DON’T’: Awkwardly stare at someone. Good networking advice includes making eye contact, but don’t be so literal! You don’t have to “stare them down”, just give the person you are talking to your attention. Also, you don’t want to make more eye contact with your phone rather than the person you are conversing with.
- DON’T’: Go to every networking event you hear about. Only go to the ones that are relevant to you and your business or you will waste a lot of time and money
- DON’T’: Pass gas – e’nuff said.
- DON’T’: Talk about politics and religion. Networking is not a time to be discussing who you voted for or what church you go to. You don’t want to offend someone that could potentially be a great resource.
- DON’T’: Ask someone to your house or on a date the first time you are meeting them. No matter how good your connection might be! Networking is like Match.com for business….not love.
- DON’T’: Ask for favors, endorsements, or recommendations. This is premature and presumptuous when you are first meeting someone. You can come across as arrogant and over-confident, which can be a big networking turnoff.
At your next conference or event, take one minute and think back to this list so that you come across as a great networker and a resource others will want to stay in contact with. Do not jeopardize your networking efforts by making avoidable mistakes!