“Connecting to the network is not natural for me.”
“Network is fake.”
“I’m introverted, so I can not network.”
“It’s not part of my culture.”
People, networking is simply building two-way relationships to help each other achieve personal or professional goals or find satisfaction from life. Just ask Helen Keller: “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” Or Berna Brown, who said, “Courage begins with appearing and letting ourselves be seen.”
In the past, I exposed Four of the top 10 types of network glitches to avoid. In summary, they were:
- Offers lunch.
- Excuse me too much.
- No business cards.
- Bursts straight inside.
I have a few more to share.
- Control someone’s time
Have you ever been to an event and wanted to meet some key people? You waited patiently to shake hands with one manager; However, another participant ruled in their time.
Do not be the network that controls time. Networking events are not the place to have deep conversations. They are perfect for making an initial acquaintance so you can really follow up and connect later.
Instead of trying to be “interesting” at networking events or career fairs, just be “interested”. When you change your mindset online, you will be more efficient.
Try the following techniques:
- Secure a list of attendees or company names before the event. Do some research, and write down your network goals.
- Arrive early, peek at other participants’ name tags, and start meeting others in quiet time. After the meal or speech begins, the networking time is over.
- Prepare your “to” starters, such as “[Name], I was expecting to meet you tonight. May I ask you one question? I chase a Top Types of Networking Bloopers to Avoid (Part Two) Position b [company], And I want your recommendation on the best way to meet executives at [department]”Continue to offer some of your own ideas.
- There are some generic entrees in the back pocket, such as, “What brought you here tonight?” Or “I would love to learn more about your background.”
- Bring a pen and paper to write down who you met, his contact information (if you did not receive a business card) and what you were talking about.
- Follow everyone you connected to via LinkedIn (with a personal note in the connection request) and send an email. This is where the real network begins.
- Be casual, casual or unprepared
Yes, networking is supposed to be two-way. But as a networking coach, I coach people on the unspoken truth about networking. Within any given scenario (e.g., job search, sales, marketing, business development) one person has the role of “network” and the other is “network worker”.
While the roles can be reversed, the network person is the one who needs the support or insights of the other. The network owns the actions, follow-up, gratitude and follow-up. Even more importantly, networkers need to focus on making a great first impression and be ultra-professional. If in doubt, make a mistake on the formal side.
The chronic bluffer is that network people are too casual, too consecutive or too unprepared.
Not you? Did you (accidentally) do any of these?
- Said “hi” or “hi” versus “hello” or “darling …”
- Include happy faces, wild use of exclamation marks or other written forgery
- Send text messages instead of sending professional emails
- Made too many grammatical errors
- Signed e-mails sent “Susie” vs. “Susie Anderson” with phone number and LinkedIn address in auto-signature
- Maintain an incomplete or poor LinkedIn profile with no picture or picture with a puppy
- You would stick to your phone instead of shaking hands, making eye contact or, God forbid, writing things on paper to show that you are listening
- You forgot to bring business cards for exchange (see Blueprint Network No. 3)
- Be a taker
The network has some very basic etiquette rules that are sensible, simple and uncomplicated. The one habit that is done regularly and repeatedly is “get what you need and then disappear.” But this is not networking. it’s simple taking. Yes, do not be taking.
People want to help because they get joy from seeing someone else’s success or results. However, my estimate is that only one in every 100 network people does something beyond a thank you letter (if it is). If you want to avoid the “takes” label, follow these steps:
- Make meticulous notes of each network call in a spreadsheet, including names, dates, contact information, where you meet, etc.
- Immediately after someone helps you in any way, send him a thank you letter. And put a reminder on your calendar to send them a thank you note a month later.
- Often, someone will refer you to someone else. Suppose John recommends that you talk to Liz. After you talk to Liz, thank her and send a great note to John, thank him and update him on your progress.
- Once you achieve a milestone, thank you to everyone in the food chain. Announce your progress and thank everyone as if they made the offer themselves. Make sure the level of gratitude matches the help of the network partner. Consider coffee gift cards, handwritten notes or more based on the person’s courtesy.
As you can see, the opposite of taking is twofold: (1) regularly monitoring your progress and, (2) demonstrating immense gratitude. Ask yourself, “Who can I thank today?”
This article (part 2 of 3) originally appeared Here At Forbes.com.