Do you have business card build up syndrome? A stack of business cards piled on your desk that you have collected at various networking events and now have no idea what to do with them. Should you call, add them to your list, send them an email??? What’s the “right” thing to do?
A big cause of the business card build up syndrome is making one or all of the three biggest networking mistakes:
1. Failure to plan
Most business people attend events to be seen or to make contacts but don’t make a plan of what they want to achieve at the networking event. As a result people have haphazard conversations that don’t lead anywhere. By taking time prior to the event to establish a plan of action you will have focused, intentional conversations that lead to appointments with people after the event is over.
2. Incorrectly answering the question, “What do you do?”
The most common networking mistake is to answer the question, “What do you do?” with your title or industry, e.g., Financial Planner, IT Consultant, Banker, Lawyer, etc. The moment you state your title (unless your title is unique like Zoo Keeper or Astronaut) you have lost the listening of the person you are speaking to. They already know ten people who do what you do. Now, instead of listening, they are politely nodding and smiling wondering how to move to the next person.
Instead of using your title to answer the question say something about what you actually do and for whom. “I help people to achieve audacious goals by giving them access to a whole new level of power and performance,” is what I say when people ask me what I do.
3. Talk too much
Listening is the most important networking skill there is. Not just any kind of listening; Conscious Listening is what’s needed. You have to listen to serve. Most people listen to reply or to have the right answer rather than to understand and learn. Mastering your ability to listen to serve or listen for what’s needed will significantly increase the number of follow up appointments you obtain. The people you meet will be eagerly awaiting your call because you will have a really good reason to call them.
To learn how to avoid these mistakes PLUS find out a proven strategy for getting business or referrals from your follow up appointment, join me for my workshop on March 20 at the Business in the Raw: Your Success Uncovered event.
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