7 Costly Mistakes You NeedTo Avoid When Networking       By John Fisher - Business for Breakfast                      Apri...
IntroductionIt is a fact that companies who do not network are missing on a richstream of new contacts and business that c...
Error 1                  Prejudging PeopleI have had some of my best referrals from people who I initiallythought could no...
Error 2                       Not Following UpPeople go out there, get the contacts, business cards and introductions but ...
Error 3                   No Clear ObjectiveYou want quality business, right? So your objective should be to build relatio...
Error 4                          Not ListeningYour ability to listen is one of the most important skills to have. It will ...
Error 5          Talking About What You DoTalk about the benefits you deliver to your clients, suppliers, customers and co...
Error 6                 Short Term Thinking                                     (1)Dont be a hunter or a deal chaser to ge...
Error 6                       Short Term Thinking                                          (2)However, this should not be ...
Error 7           Letting Fear Get The Better Of YouSo you feel nervous about going up to a complete stranger and introduc...
ConclusionSo what next?Well that it is up to you, but do find a professional businessnetworking organization to join. This...
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7 costly mistakes to avoid when networking

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It is a fact that companies who do not network are missing on a rich stream of new contacts and business that can make them more successful & profitable
It can also help them to understand their customers and the marketplace better whilst testing their message and its effectiveness.
The other fact is that many people who do network make mistakes which can cost them winning new business.
Now we all make mistakes. So what can you look out for and how can you maximize your networking activities by avoiding these costly errors?

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  • 7 costly mistakes to avoid when networking

    1. 1. 7 Costly Mistakes You NeedTo Avoid When Networking By John Fisher - Business for Breakfast April 2011
    2. 2. IntroductionIt is a fact that companies who do not network are missing on a richstream of new contacts and business that can make them moresuccessful & profitableIt can also help them to understand their customers and the marketplacebetter whilst testing their message and its effectiveness.The other fact is that many people who do network make mistakeswhich can cost them winning new business.Now we all make mistakes. So what can you look out for and how canyou maximize your networking activities by avoiding these costly errors?
    3. 3. Error 1 Prejudging PeopleI have had some of my best referrals from people who I initiallythought could not help meSo - You cannot afford to prejudge people; you simply do not knowwho they know or who they can connect you and your business to.Weve all heard the saying, never judge a book by its cover, butmany of us do. Instead, give people time and your attention.But it is also worth mentioning on the flipside that all that glitters isnot gold, be open-minded and dont jump to conclusions.
    4. 4. Error 2 Not Following UpPeople go out there, get the contacts, business cards and introductions but fail to follow up orwhen they do follow up they are trying to sell.Top referral achievers know how to follow up and they follow up on all contacts and keep inregular contact.The people you meet at business networking forums are present as equals, they do not want to besold to and they definitely do not want to be treated as prospectsHowever they may become customers or clients in time and that is fine but your objective is tofind out about them and build rapport with the view to becoming an advocate of their business.It is also worth remembering that in business, as in the sporting arena, top performers develop skilland success through persistence and a focus on continuous improvement.Please understand that networking is a marketing tool and not just an event that you go to.Youmust follow up, dont hesitate, dont allow that little voice in your head to put you off. JUST DO IT.
    5. 5. Error 3 No Clear ObjectiveYou want quality business, right? So your objective should be to build relationships onthe following 3 criteria: know, like and trust. *Know - getting to know your contact first is vital, a good way to get the conversation going is to ask open-ended questions in which the person cannot easily answer yes or no. For example - What type of businesses are you looking to be referred to? *Like- this is all about building rapport and getting on well. *Trust - mutual beneficial business relationships must be built on trust as we are talking about your reputation - there must be no hidden agendas.
    6. 6. Error 4 Not ListeningYour ability to listen is one of the most important skills to have. It will give you theedge if you can learn, develop and cultivate it.It isnt about hearing what is said - it is about understanding what people really mean.Real listening will require your complete focus and attention.What are people really looking to achieve? What is really important to them abouttheir business, job, personal ambition, and family?Usually people dont listen because they are too busy focusing on what they want tosay next in a conversation. Write down key areas of importance so the next time youspeak or follow up you can ask them about their interests.You have 2 choices - be an interesting person or an interested person. You decide!
    7. 7. Error 5 Talking About What You DoTalk about the benefits you deliver to your clients, suppliers, customers and contacts.Talk enthusiastically. DO not go into detail at an initial meeting at a networking event.Try to get over - What is unique about you? Why do you do what you do? How doyou deliver more value than others in your sector?Please do not fall into the trap of saying that it is your service or quality of yourproduct that differentiates you, this is far too common and generic, explain how, andexplain why.Let people know who you want to be referred to specifically, NEVER say anybody oreverybody as you will usually get referred to nobody, because this is not specificenough.
    8. 8. Error 6 Short Term Thinking (1)Dont be a hunter or a deal chaser to get the best results from your networkingactivities.You need to take a long term approachYou cannot afford to have an attitude of Whats in it for me or what can I get out ofthis, you must replace this with the mantra - How can I help you or How can I serve.Go out there to make a positive impact on someones day.Effective people take a farming approach to networking. They focus on cultivatingrelationships for mutual long term benefit and they definitely do not chase deals orinstant sales.You may attend a networking forum and do business initially thats great.
    9. 9. Error 6 Short Term Thinking (2)However, this should not be your primary objective as referrals work best if you develop a knowlike and trust strategy. When you get a referral you want to know that it is the type of businessyou want and you want to know that you are going to get paid for your product or service. So toprotect yourself - follow these 3 simple steps; Step one - get to know your networking colleagues know what they do, know what they like and dont like, know what they stand for and what they are about. Step two - get to like them, get them to like you and build a relationship & rapport. Step three - build trust and make sure theyre reliable. Test their reliability on little things first. It cannot be stressed how important it is to know like and trust your networking colleagues. You cannot afford to introduce the wrong person, solution or company to your valuable network if they cannot perform. More importantly you cannot expect others to introduce you and your company to their valuable contacts if you cannot perform and successfully deliver on your promises. People who you recommend represent you - so dont cut corners.
    10. 10. Error 7 Letting Fear Get The Better Of YouSo you feel nervous about going up to a complete stranger and introducing yourself,you feel apprehensive - This is normal.We were all taught as children not to talk to strangers. In business, talking to completestrangers is a way to generate interest and contacts for your business.If you only talk to the people you already know and deal with, you will miss out onopportunities to make new connections.Set a target for yourself before you attend any networking event. Decide how manynew contacts you want to make or how many strangers you want to meet.Make it fun and take yourself out of your comfort zone.With practice and determination - you will think what was I worried about!
    11. 11. ConclusionSo what next?Well that it is up to you, but do find a professional businessnetworking organization to join. This will help you becomemore successful and improve your skills.We firmly believe making networking part of your marketingactivity will be one of the best business decisions you make.And it will be fun too.

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