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5 of the most common mistakes when it comes to networking



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5 of the most common mistakes when it comes to networking

Networking isn't as easy as going to a conference and shaking some hands then partnering up with large corporations.  You will actually have to do a lot of work after meeting the person you're networking with in order to see the best results possible.  One of the biggest reasons people fail, when it comes to networking, is that they don't follow up with the person they talked with in the past.  The failure comes when the person thinks they have an iron clad business relationship after talking briefly a single time, which doesn't happen.  If you're just starting out with any sort of networking, you will likely be rusty, but luckily you're here and that means you want to learn how to do it properly 5 of the most common mistakes when it comes to networking

I've been to plenty of meet and greets, conferences, seminars, etc. and networked with plenty of big wigs in the industry and gotten then to call me back for meet ups and luncheons to go over more possible work between our two companies.  I didn't start out landing things like this, I failed plenty of times before anyone was willing to work with me, but my failures are going to help you leap frog the learning process and bring in more leads and referrals quicker than I did myself 5 of the most common mistakes when it comes to networking

In this discussion I'll be covering the 5 most common mistakes when it comes to networking.  It doesn't matter what industry you're in, you will kill your relationship with someone if you do any of these.


You aren't following up with them
Like I mentioned before, if you don't follow up with someone after you're done networking, you're likely going to kill that business relationship.  Most of the time this happens because you get to busy with your previous tasks that keep your business running, which is understandable to all of us, but your potential client or new business partner won't care much about why you didn't follow up with them.  If you don't follow up with someone, it's like you didn't even network in the first place. 

To fix this bad habit, you need to have a schedule set up so you call back anyone you talk with.  You will need to set aside a day, after the event, where you can just call and chat with the people you talked with.  It doesn't have to be the very next day, because that will just make you look eager, and no one likes that.  I like to do my calls a week after the event, so people still remember who I am but they don't think I'm eager to get them to work with me.


You don't have a clear USP
Not having a clear Unique Selling Proposition (USP) will be a killer when it comes to networking because people won't know what you're talking about.  If you're networking at an event that isn't in your exact industry, you will need to adjust your USP so people know exactly what you're talking about.  A good example of this would be if I were at an online marketing expo, I could get super detailed in what we do in terms of SEO and SEM.  If I were at a Carpenter Business Owners conference, I would basically have to say something along the lines of "We help anyone with a website get top rankings in the search engines so they get more traffic and sales."  Then I'll usually get a few follow up questions, and my answer is usually something along the lines of "Think of it this way, how many times have you been on Google and clicked to the second or third page to find something you needed?  Getting to the first page will make you 10x as many sales as if you were on the top of the second page."

My USP changes based on who I'm talking to, but it always contains what I'm doing and why I'm doing it, in as little amount of words as possible.  I will try to see it from the persons point of view, and I will pitch to them how I think they would want to hear it.  If you can do that, you can close any lead that is in front of you 5 of the most common mistakes when it comes to networking


Not responding to referrals from your network
This is one of the biggies that can kill your network fairly quickly.  Basically, a website that you're partnered with is sending you leads and you're not talking to them.  You're essentially making both companies look bad because they person who referred you is trusted by the referral, and now the trust is lost a little due to you not even responding.  Now the network partner isn't trusting you as much and likely won't send you any more leads.

It's pretty easy to answer an email or pick up a phone call and talk to someone for a few minutes, so do it!  If you're not doing this, you're not going to succeed as much as you could have.  You want to be seen as a professional, so respond to everyone that is sent to you, no matter if you want to or not.


Don't abuse any of your relationships with the network
Think of it this way, if you were invited to a birthday and decide to show up even though you aren't best friends with the person in your network, you might go just to show your face.  What would you think, if you did go to this birthday, if you walked in and they were pitching everyone a business opportunity?  You would feel like you're being taken advantage of and you would lose trust in the person who invited you.

If you want your network to trust you, you need to stop abusing your relationship with them.  Call on them when you need them and send them clients when you can perform the tasks they are asking of you.  Building a healthy business relationship will go a long way when it comes to having loyal clients since the will be referrals 5 of the most common mistakes when it comes to networking



In conclusion
If you've been networking, and it hasn't been working for you at all, it could be due to one of the things I mentioned above.  Go through the list again and figure out if you're doing any of them, if you are, you need to adjust your approach when networking and build solid relationships.  I've been networking for along time and I know that some business relationships just don't last for odd reasons, but most of the time they fail because I've messed something up myself.  I've adjusted over the years and now have a great network to send leads to and recieve them as well 5 of the most common mistakes when it comes to networking  You can do the same as me, it just takes practice and patience to build up your own network!



Remember to follow me!
https://www.seoclerks.com/user/Razzy


Thanks!


Razzy

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cmoneyspinner

What I don't understand is how people don't take what they normally do in the offline world and apply it to the online world.

~ Do you go to your job every day and never talk to your co-workers?
~ Do you let the phone on your desk ring off the hook and let it go to messaging and never answer it because it could actually be a customer calling and you're supposed to help them?

So you're in the online world. But you still have to be courteous, show respect, and have the same professional etiquette as if you're talking to someone face to face,

No responding. No interacting. No business. (O.o) Why are you even bothering with networking at all? Online networking requires consistent persistence.




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Corzhens

Some people think that the online world is a different place because you don’t see eye to eye with the people in your network. You are right that we also have to be courteous and respectful of others who are in the network. The social media is one good place to learn the proper manners in the online world because it is a society for online users. From there we would learn the standards and norms that people do regarding posting and commenting on the posts.




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overcast

I think a lot of things offline don't work with the online. The instant purchase does not happen in offline world. We check the things around. And that is something not possible offline. So same with co working. I have seen people not talking to each other in office. And that can work out as well. So in terms of the things that apply in two different scenarios can be different.




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cmoneyspinner

Yes, I'm aware it's not a one size fits all. But a lot of the same things that apply to offline activity can be adapted to the online world.




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Barida

Not following up on our referrals ain't the best way to go about it. I believe there is need to always connect and assist them to get better in the business we introduced them to so that they can be happy as well.




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kgord

Yes, I don't think we can afford to leave referrals on the back burner. They may not be the ideal candidates for you , but it doesn't mean that you shouldn't connect with and interact with them. They may be able to benefit you in some sort of way. You might also be able to help them.




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Baburra

I agree. It might be tedious work to do since not all referrals remain active but applying this rule for everyone just to get the few active ones to remain loyal and working is worth it because you really can't expect all of them to perform well anyway and you only really do it for the few ones who will eventually make it worth your time and effort.




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Judas2018

I think networking doesn't work for some people because they are worried about personal repercussions. I've seen very unfortunate situations where people don't reach out or relationships forged are then broken, because someone within one network, doesn't get along with someone in another networking group. So people who're caught in the middle are not sure if reaching out to a newly met individual, will somehow offend someone else they consider very important to their inner circle.




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Corzhens

One thing that is important to me is the line where you said don’t abuse your relationships with the network. My husband is connected to media and he sometimes gets friend requests from celebrities, particularly the small time actors. One actor befriended him and once in a while, the actor would send him notes about the actor’s upcoming movie or event. Just last night, he received a list of winners from the latest awards night that the actor sent with a hint for publication. That’s clearly an abuse.




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overcast

Indeed that seems like an abuse. I wonder if there are any laws that prevent people from doing that. I am sure that can be then better handled in such cases. I have noticed that some of the times it'd abused by the people for the sake of media. So that's another case to think about.




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augusta

The first law of networking to me is to have a unique product, brand or service to showcase.Alot of people would have wanted to associate with a unique business idea though one can also network with an existing business but the more unique it looks or sounds the more people get interested.All your points are valid especially the following up part, networking is never one-time off thing,it needs one not relenting since he or she succeeds.This will really help those that needs people to come in and help actualize their dreams.




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overcast

True. One needs to have some product or service. And unless one has it, there seems to be no way to get out of things. And networking does not make sense otherwise. So on that note I'd say that it's preferable to do the networking the right way. I guess some of the time networking is not always possible for many among us.




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Everett

Not responding to referrals from your network
Sometimes I think people are just scared to reply to referrals, or leads generated by their network. I do know that sometimes this is an issue for me. Sometimes I feel as if maybe I am not the most educated in the niche I am in and what if they can sense that? Anxiety takes it's ugly toll on me and then I just don't reply to referrals or leads.

But I will say I am getting much better. I do not believe it really matters if you are the most educated in the niche you are in, but rather more so how you are operating within the niche as it were. Sometimes I just say "ah, screw it" and will respond to a referral/lead and then what do you know a new client! So don't ever be scared to respond because you think you are not the most educated. Google is always your friend in this aspect. A famous saying goes like "fake it til you makee it". I think a lot of people do this, even in the real world of business and if they are surviving why can't you?




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vinaya

when it comes to Networking, reciprocation is very important. If someone follows you, you should follow back, if someone gives you a like, you should like his post as well, if someone leaves a comment, you have to reply or comment on his works. If you don't reciprocate, you cannot connect with many people.




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Everett

This is somewhat very true, but you do not want to seem too desparate or else this could actually hinder your networking. People may feel as if you are trying to piggyback off of them, follow and liking everything they do can also be stalking at some point. I believe when networking even if people post something, don't like or comment on it right away. I usually use the "im so busy i dont have time to like/comment on social media". They may see that i am just too busy and want to know what i am doing all the time, and why i have no time to comment/like. Use some tactics like that, and maybe comment/like on their posts rarely -- they may even feel good that you do it because you took the time out of your 'busy' schedule to like/comment on their post! 5 of the most common mistakes when it comes to networking Just a little tip i use that always works most of the time!




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vinaya

I don't see any reasons why people would not want reciprocation. One of the main reasons for posting is to get engagements, engagements mean likes, comments, replies. People like appreciation that is why they post. If there is no appreciation in the form of engagement, they might never get back to you.
Everyone of us is busy. if you assume "I am so busy, man" kind of role, it might offend many people. Even the big celebrities always reciprocate.




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JoeMilford

Razzy,
I like your point that, if you do not follow up with referrals and other communications, then you may as well not have networked in the first place, right? In all things, when it comes to business, you have to feel out the market and know when to be aggressive and when to back off or play it cool. If you overwhelm people with excess networking, they will be like, "Oh here comes hat guy again, jeez!", and you could turn your audience off and lose them. As someone said above, I think that reciprocation in networking is very important, but if you overdo it, that can most definitely be a bad thing too.




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vinaya

the response is very important in networking. If someone follows you, you need to follow him back. If someone leaves a comment, you need to reply to the comment and also check his link and leave feedback. If you do not reciprocate, you will never succeed with networking.




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