Haven’t we all encountered that one obnoxious networker…the one that only talks about himself or has purely selfish motives for showing up? If you haven’t, perhaps you are the offending networker.
That was a little joke, of course.
Networking skills can be learned. Let’s talk about a few do’s and dont’s.
What to Do and What Not to Do
Most of the time, networking etiquette seems like a no-brainer. But sometimes we need a little reminder about what is acceptable behavior in professional networking relationships.
Don’t abuse relationships. No one likes to feel taken advantage of.
Don’t be selfish. Networking is a two-way street. Make sure you are giving more than you are taking.
Don’t ask for a job. It sounds like you only want to know the person for one reason. Be genuinely curious about what the person does, and contribute in helpful ways. Let the job idea come up naturally after establishing a professional rapport.
Do start with your existing network. Always begin with the people you know. It doesn’t benefit you to speak with strangers. Let friends and colleagues introduce you to new people. This opens up your network in broader, more natural ways.
Do show interest in others. The old saying nails it: The fastest way to become the most interesting person in the room is to be genuinely interested in everyone else.
Do build relationships. Networking is all about establishing working relationships with a wide variety of people. Treating people well is the best way to do just that!
Obviously, a little common sense goes a long way, as does the golden rule: treat others as you would like to be treated.
Networking does get easier with a little practice. As you travel to trade shows, introduce yourself, and showcase exactly what sets your business apart, be sure to visit our website for all your banner and display needs!