Networking is more than a vital part of the LinkMotility market - it IS the market! And it’s something that we all struggle with, no matter how long we’ve been doing it. Sometimes it's easier to focus on what not to do, and leave the rest up to you. That's why we share these five utimate networking disasters with you to avoid, which we hope will help you tackle some of the most tricky situations.
Networking is NOT working, but it’s an ongoing process and requires attention and good will. Incorporate the art of networking into your professional mindset now and you will gain opportunities and build relationships that will last a lifetime.
1. Collect or spread as many business cards as possible
It’s better to have three quality conversations at a networking event then to walk away with 30 business cards from people you didn’t take the time to get to know. Collect only meaningful and useful business cards from other connections. And here comes the best tip of the day: Write a short note about something special from the conversation, on the back of the business card (you know why later).
2. Sending a resume without being asked
Always thank your contacts in person and follow up with a letter. But make sure it’s a personal letter and not sales material. Sending your resume in an introductory email is short of passive aggressively asking for a job or their help. If I want to help you, I’ll ask for your resume but, if you send it to me without my permission, it feels forced.
3. Misusing LinkedIn
"I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn." Heard it before? I’m sorry, but if you don’t even have the time to tell me why you wan’t to connect with me - why should i find the time to add you? At least tell me what or who we have in common and why you find it interesting to connect with me. Then i’ll be your best possible ambassador i promise you!
4. Not Following Up
When you meet someone and would like to grow the relation, it’s best to follow up within 24 hours and not just through Linkedin. Send them an email saying WHY you enjoyed meeting them and WHEN you would like to see them again.
To help the contact remember you, reference something funny or interesting from your conversation. Here the note from the business card (see section 1) comes in.
5. Not Offering Your Help
One of the most important things you can do when networking is offering your help instead of asking for help. "What can I do for you?" That simple question, shifts the relationship. To seem genuine and show a desire to support only makes your personal brand stronger and if you feel you are in a position to help… you must be pretty full of ressources, right?
Enjoy your networking! It shows!
... and please comment and share your own experiences - we appreciate dialogue ;0)