TNNWC Publications And Informational Products Division publishes The National Networker (TNNWC) Weekly Newsletter and The BLUE TUESDAY Report especially for entrepreneurs and early-stage venturers; free weekly subscriptions to these informative publications are available online to all entrepreneurial Members of TNNWC.

Membership in TNNWC is free (it's automatic for any subscriber to any TNNWC Publication) and available at our website. When you arrive there, just click on any of the JOIN US or BECOME a MEMBER buttons or links.

Friday, July 09, 2010

THE SLOGANATOR: 15 Of The Biggest Mistakes We Make When Networking

Rhonda L.Sher

Most people go to networking events with the hope they’ll meet at least five new contacts which will turn into referrals or new clients. The sad truth is most people never follow-up with the people they have met and end up spending too much time and money at meetings that prove to be nothing more than a social event. If you’re like most people who attend networking events so you can build your business, you will most likely identify with a few of the mistakes listed below. The good news is that once you know what not to do, it becomes much easier to get results.

If you are serious about connecting with other people who like you are interested in making the most of the networking events, then make sure you avoid making these 15 most common mistake:

  1. Not arriving early and being prepared.

    When you arrive early, you have time to find a good parking place, meet the people running the event and position yourself where you can greet everyone who is coming in. In addition, you can make sure you look good, and be prepared to talk with those people you want to meet. Make sure you have plenty of business cards with you and that you have a place to put the cards of the people you meet. Take notes after you meet someone on the back of their card or in a networking notebook where you put the cards.

  2. Spending too much time with one person.

    Your goal at every networking event is to spend about 5 minutes with each person. It is not to get "engaged." Ask questions and, presuming you see a fit, politely ask for their card and ask for permission to stay in touch. Remember, this is not the time to make a sales presentation or to tell your life story. It is the time to spend a few minutes of quality time with someone new and then move on to meet a new prospect.

  3. Walking around with a plate full of food and a drink.

    You're at an event to meet people, not to eat and drink. If your goal is to meet five to ten new people, then have your hands free to shake hands and your mouth empty to carry-on a conversation. It is amazing how many people go to events for the food and drink and forget the real purpose why they're there.

  4. Being a card shark.

    Have you ever been to a networking event where someone walks around handing out their card or brochures to everyone without saying as much as a hello orfirst making an introduction? Those people are called "card sharks." Why would you want the card of someone you don't even know? More importantly, why would they want yours? Don't give your card unless you are asked for it and when someone offers you their card, look at it, make a polite comment about the card if you like it and thank them.

  5. Crashing a conversation.

    When there 's already a group of two people involved in a conversation, this is not the time to crash the party. Look for groups of three or more and find the person who seems the most animated. Catch their eye and if it looks like a place where you can fit in, try to join the conversation. You can politely listen and then join in if you are have experience or interest in the subject being discussed.

  6. Dressing like you are looking for a date.

    First impressions are ever-lasting. Make sure that what you wear says you are there for professional reasons. Women who wear short skirts or low cut tops may be sending a message they may not want to send. Men who wear open shirts or appear very casual may be presenting an unprofessional first impression. Keep in mind that people are judged in the first 7 to 10 seconds, so make your first impression count.

  7. Giving a long elevator pitch of what you do.

    When someone asks you the question, what do you do, be prepared with a short 30 second upbeat, easy to repeat elevator pitch. Tell the person about your talent, not your title. Create curiosity and don't give a made for television mini series about what you do. Ask questions of the person you are talking to and do more listening than talking. As an old mentor said "If you are telling, you ain't selling." The primary goal of the networking event is to make a friend, not make a sale.

  8. Talking about topics like politics, bad jokes, religion or gossip.

    Read the paper and keep up on light current events. You never know if something you say will offend someone, so stay away from controversial topics and keep the conversation flowing. Remember what your mother taught you: if you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything.

  9. Spending time with the people you already know.

    Too many networking events begin to resemble a junior high dance, with guys are on one side of the room and the women on the other … one big party. This is the time to meet new people and expand your network. You can meet up with your friends after the event but while you're there remember, your goal is to meet new people.

  10. Doing all the talking. and not much listening.

    G_D gave us one mouth and two ears for a reason … to listen twice as much as we talk. So ask open-ended questions and the person you're speaking with will think you are the most interesting person they've met. Most people love to talk about themselves. Becoming a great listener will make you a great qualifier. So do more listening than talking and you'll quickly determine whether the person you are talking with is a fit.

  11. Falling down on the follow-up.

    How many times have you gone to a networking event, come home with a pocketful of cards and done absolutely nothing with them? Take action and follow-up with a hand written note, an engaging greeting card, a personal email or a phone call. Put the cards of the people you have met in your database and once you have determined where they fit in your networking system, take follow-up steps to stay in touch with them.. Networking is like advertising, you need both reach and frequency. You're follow-up protocols should be consistent.

  12. Not having a plan.

    If you don't have a plan prior to attending a networking event, it's highly unlikely you'll be rewarded.. Know who you want to meet, have an elevator pitch that's catchy, a follow-up system, and be up to date on current events. Make sure you have a professional name badge worn on the right hand side, a pen, business cards and a calendar.

  13. Not acting like a "matchmaker".

    Too often, people go to events and fail to introduce people to each other. This is one of the easiest ways to position yourself as a resource, and meet new people as a result of it. Once you have met someone new and find another person that would be a good connection, play matchmaker and make the introduction for them. Reciprocity is fundamental to successful networking. So do it for them and they'll be more likely to do it for you.

  14. Not attending enough events.

    Some people attend only one networking event a month and expect amazing results. It takes a consistent and prepared effort and showing up at several events a month to get results. Missed opportunities will seldom re-present themselves, so make the effort to show up, that way you'll never know what you are missing.

  15. Not asking the right questions.

    When you meet someone at an event, you only have a few minutes to make an impression. Asking someone about the weather, or if they have ever been there before is not going to do the trick. Find areas of commonality, or ask what the person does. Be curious and ask what got them into that line of work? What do they like most about what they do and what do they think is their greatest challenge? Who knows, maybe you're the solution.

As obvious as some of these rules seem, you would be amazed at how frequently they're violated. Remember, networking is about building relationships, so anyone can do it. Becoming a masterful communicator is easy and merely requires a little interest, the willingness to cross a few boundaries, a friendly smile or warm hand shake and a genuine interest in learning all about the people you meet.

I, Rhonda Sher, the "Two Minute Networker" hoping you'll remember "you're only two minutes and two people from your next referral."

Rhonda L Sher: The Sloganator Rhonda L Sher was born talking. She fell in love with words as a child and has never stopped communicating since. Her father once commented that she was vaccinated with a phonograph needle. Not only has Rhonda inherited her father's humor, but it's that quick wit that has become the signature that has helped propel her clients to stardom.Acclaimed Keynote and workshop leader, Rhonda has authored two books, "The 2 Minute Networker" and "The ABC's of LinkedIn," "Get LinkedIn or Get Left Out" as well as numerous action guides, articles, workbooks, jingles and corporate slogans.

In addition to writing, Rhonda uses her gift of gab as a featured keynote speaker, consultant and corporate trainer throughout North America. She has successfully taught hundreds of business men and women on the art of business networking and written hundreds of elevator pitches and slogans.Rhonda's greatest talent lies in her ability to create fabulously catchy slogans that are memorable, upbeat, easy to repeat and create instant brand identification. In addition to the books, audio and video, Rhonda creates slogans and taglines for her clients which are memorable, bring them business and make them, money. She works with you to create a corporate slogan for your business that sets you apart from your competition. Her creativity and energy will tap into your customer's mind and have your phone ringing off the hook with new business.

Rhonda's Products can be previewed at:

The Two Minute NetworkerMingle To Make Money

The National Networker Companies™ and TNNWC Group, LLC

Empowering Emerging Enterprises”

Membership in TNNWC’s Global Interactive Cooperative Business Community is free of charge and entitles you to receive both The National Networker Newsletter and The BLUE TUESDAY Report, as well as access to our unparalleled Suite of Business Services.

Join Us! Simply click on

Visit our website at

Forward/Share This Article With Colleagues And Social Media:

No comments:

Blog Archive

BNI News Feed

The Emergence of The Relationship Economy

The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


Site Credits:

Featured in Alltop
ALLTOP Business
News Wire. HOT.
Cool Javascript codes for websites  Fabulous Free Calendars

Create FREE graphics at