Last week I attended an event with businesspeople keen to make connections. Now I’m no power networker, but I’m a pretty good observer, and I noticed countless instances of people missing opportunities simply because they weren’t organized. Here are the top 5 mistakes they made …
Top 5 Mistakes Made by Disorganized Networkers
1. Having too few business cards.
If you love your cute business card holder that accommodates 7.4 cards, fine, but throw an extra stash in your bag, pocket, or purse.
2. Being all about the food and drink
You want to be able to shake hands, speak without displaying masticated sushi and breathe without fellow attendees passing out from garlic fumes. Think of the event cost as covering information and opportunities and forget the nibbles. Eat beforehand. Sip on a drink but put it down between conversations.
3. Keeping business cards in a bag or jacket
If someone asks for your business card you don’t want to be running off to search for one. Keep some with you as you circulate.
4. Talking ad nauseam about themselves
I categorize this as disorganization because the people I observed lulling their companions into a waking doze weren’t, as far as I could tell, egocentric or self-absorbed. They just hadn’t prepared a brief description of themselves and their businesses, and were tongue-tied and unaware. Condense your story into a short, interesting snippet. People can always ask for more.
5. Bogarting the talent
Of course everyone wants to meet and ask questions of the keynote speaker/panel members at these things. Just don’t be the one making an entire Dr Phil episode out of your questions, issues and ideas while the 20 people behind assassinate you with evil looks. Be prepared beforehand so you can keep your discussion brief. You’ll make a better impression on the speaker and have a nicer time with your fellow attendees.
If you’ve got end-of-year functions lined up and some schmoozing of your own to do, then get organized and avoid these mistakes.
Question: What networking mistakes have you observed?
Image by Ajda Gregorčič