After years of business networking I still smile when I witness the way some people behave at an event. They just don’t get it… Key reasons to attend networking events are to make new contacts, get to know local businesses and look for opportunities for your business. It is essential then that you behave in such a way that others so you as friendly and likeable, credible and professional and someone they would want to meet with again.
Here are ten easy ways to get it very wrong after the meeting…
Walking away after a meeting without a second thought for who you have just met and whether you can do anything for them is a total waste of time.
When you say you are going to do something, whether it be make an introduction, forward some info or just look up a number then always do it – and do it sooner rather than later. Failing to deliver on a promise is a sure-fire way to lose credibility.
Failing to Act
This is different from the above. If someone enquires about your services or asks you to quote this is a great opportunity to show how professional you are by reacting swiftly and efficiently. Leave it until tomorrow at your peril.
Spamming the Guest List
The guest list is for your information and so that you can make contact with people you met. Do not be tempted to spam it with more information about you or details of your next workshop. People blindly do this and don’t even check that everyone on the list was even there. Not great for your reputation in the business community.
Forgetting your Manners
Always thank the person who invited you, either at the event or by telephone or email afterwards, and let them know what you found most useful.
If a member of the group already has your profession covered resist the temptation to try and poach their clients. There is plenty of business to go around and working in collaboration with them will prove a far better long-term strategy.
Like in the pre-meeting networking have a quick chat, arrange what you want to do next i.e. call, email or meet and then let them get on to speak to other guests.
You need to allow time for members and guest to come and talk to you and ask you more about your business. Make sure you leave a good 30-45 minutes after the finish time to make sure everyone who wants to talk to you can, and you have time to speak to anyone who interested you.
Making Snap Decisions
There will usually be a lot to take in and you may need to digest some of it, ask more questions or speak to partners before you can make a decision on whether it will be right for you and your company. Avoid listening to other who think they know best and make your own decision, in your own time.
Running Off for a Quick Cigarette
If you run off quickly for a fag then remember you are going to walk back in to chat to people smelling of smoke. Hold off for another half an hour until you leave the venue.
Did you read 10 easy ways to get it wrong before and during a meeting too…