Is there a way to improve networking?
Networking is at the heart of building any business. We network to increase sales, grow our business, build our network of connections and etc.
No one is going to say that networking is an urgent activity, but most people would say that networking is an important activity. Because networking falls into the category “important, but not urgent”, we do not seem to want to make the time for it. Sometimes because it is not done the right way.
Here are 10 big networking mistakes you should avoid making. You will be able to sharpen some of these skills while playing the Freshbiz game.
- YOU THINK THAT IT IS ABOUT YOU
When networking some people tend to start with blathering on about themselves. They get so focused about them and their products and services that they even forget to ask any question about their companion.
Let us be transparent – people who network with you want to know what is in it for them. So the self-absorbed, egotistical networker becomes boring very quickly and makes people not want to network with him or her. Make sure when you network you are “them” focused and not “me” focused. When people really feel that you care about them or have an interest in them, they will find you fascinating and will really enjoy talking to you. Great conversation is the beginning of the puzzle in great networking. Participate in the Freshbiz game session and practice networking conversations with members of your team. For better results, you will be changing team members to acquire new networking strategies.
- YOU HANG AROUND WITH YOUR OWN PEOPLE
The goal of networking is to meet new people, to make new connections, and to start to build a valuable network both inside and outside your organization. So if you sit at the table with all your colleagues and coworkers, that is not networking! Be bold and sit at a completely different table with people you do not know in order to meet them. When playing the Freshbiz game you learn how to start enjoying meeting strangers.
- YOU DO NOT HAVE A PLAN
In anything we do, if we want to achieve a great result, we have to know what we want our results to be. You should have goals and objectives for networking, and when you go to a networking event you should have a plan for that specific event. Surely it is easier and requires less effort to just go to a networking event without a plan and have fun, but if you want to maximize the investment of your time, energy, effort, and money you will be much better off having a plan for networking. The Freshbiz game will catalyze your goals and objectives and show you the path to hit your target.
- YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW TO HAVE EFFECTIVE CONVERSATIONS
At networking events, we meet people who are shy and socially awkward or those who are overbearingly outgoing or obnoxious. The idea of having an effective conversation is to make a connection and to build rapport with the other person you’re talking to. Most people do not know how to engage in conversation, and they do not know what to say or how to talk about a topic. They feel uncomfortable and it shows. They also have no idea what to talk about and what is or not appropriate. At the Freshbiz game, you will learn how to build valuable conversations with your companions. We will propose you a few tools to get ideas for a conversation like to make a research, to chase opportunities and so on.
- YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW TO GREET AND ENGAGE
When networking many people do not know how to make the approach whether it is on a plane, a train, at a trade show, at a dinner or a networking event. They either do not approach people at all and they just kind of stand off to the side in a quiet corner, or they boldly approach a group and rudely insert themselves in the middle of conversation by interrupting. That is also a big mistake. Join our next Freshbiz game session and learn how to greet someone and how to engage them while balancing your personality, whether it is introverted or extroverted. It is both an art and a science, and the good news is it is one that you can learn right away.
- YOU SAY OR DO THINGS THAT ARE INAPPROPRIATE
Everyone knows that one of the key rules at social events is to avoid politics, religion, and sex. In the diverse world we live in, it is truer today than it ever was. Yet on many occasions, people talk about all of those topics. When hearing that the conclusion comes that *either they never learned that those are inappropriate topics or *they know that they are inappropriate but they like being rebellious and edgy and like bringing up things to tweak the conversation. When this happens what should you do? On one side it is not polite to ignore the companion. However not to put everyone in an awkward position and avoid the controversy you should try to change the inappropriate topic smoothly.
- YOU DO NOT KNOW WHEN TO STOP TALKING
There is a thin line between confidence and arrogance. When playing the Freshbiz game you will learn that in order to achieve your networking goal you should talk less (not more), ask more questions and engage and draw out the other person you are speaking with. Afterwards, it is a conversation, not a dictation; a dialogue, not a monologue. Looking for ways to partner you will be building a conversation with team members and ask them a whole series of questions based on their responses. This will require sharpening your business development skills. Success is achieved when you are able to build trust and boost a mutual learning process.
- KEEP BEING POSITIVE
No one likes to be around someone who is negative, pessimistic, or says negative things about other people or other company’s products or services. That is not the kind of person other people want to be around. When you meet someone and they launch into a negative diatribe of complaints, you really don’t want to talk to them anymore after that. So whenever you are networking and wherever you are networking, make sure that you keep your comments and your attitude on the positive side.
You never know how valuable a new person may be in your network, how many opportunities she or he may be able to offer you, or how many opportunities you may be able to offer them. You must always put your best foot forward and present a positive image because you never know who you’re going to meet and the impact they can have on your life personally or professionally.
- YOU DO NOT REALIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF IMAGE
Many people wear the most casual clothes when networking at the conferences or events. Their thinking is they are not in front of clients, they are there to learn and have a good time. They want to relax. That is a strategic error because you never know when you might meet your next client or influencer. Your image is still important because at your next event there will be people that you will be meeting for the first time. Why would not you always put your best foot forward?
- YOU DO NOT HAVE AN OVERALL STRATEGY
Networking is complex. It is also complicated because there are so many kinds of networking tools that you can use. For example, you can attend trade shows or networking events, join clubs and groups, engage with several forms of networking online, network internally at the organization that you work for now as well as externally. Something people need to do is take the time to sit down, think through, and come up with an overall networking strategy that leads to a networking plan that goes into your calendar to ensure that you have networking activities yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly or daily if it is required.
Are these areas you need to work on? Check out the date of our next Freshbiz game session and become a genius networker faster by experiencing a transformation.