An ongoing activity for any professional is networking. It's your life line. With every word, you’re breathing life into a "pitch" for more business. After attending numerous conferences and industry mixers, I’ve listed habits or moments that are bad for business:
Addicted to Name Dropping (... AND?). Shame on you if you’ve let a potential connector or client get away with nothing more than who you’ve worked with and what they do. The takeaway should be who you are and what you do to improve whatever situation a potential client may have. Some glorify names and titles. I think you’re past and present assignments, stats, and future developments are worth mentioning. Be yourself, everyone else is taken.
Talk too much. Know when to talk, know when to listen. Some people charge at you with a lengthy, rehearsed pitch--making sure they get all of their words out. If you listen more, you can pick up on cues that enable you to respond effectively. Networking should be a two-way conversation. Let them talk about who they are and what they do. There may be a ‘red flag’ that warns you to save yourself.
Talk too much (cont). Have you heard about the “elevator pitch”? It’s a short summary about your business: who you are, what product/service you provide, why you’re business has brought you here (assuming you’re at a conference or mixer). This is good for quick encounters. As soon as the moment becomes a monologue--get it all out--because it‘ll be difficult to get their attention for anything else.
Anti-social. Why come to a networking event, and don’t work the room? This is why your talk/listen ratio and “elevator pitch” are important. You enter a conversation to give and receive information. Some may last longer than others, but you should still know when to wrap things up. If done correctly, you’ll have reason to follow-up. Think about looking for a job. For every 10 applications you get one interview. Try setting a number goal before a networking event.
Grandiosity. Keep it real. If you’ve mentioned changing the world, putting Facebook out of business, working with millionaires, or you’re the best of the best--you should be listed somewhere, anywhere. If you don’t have a website, social following, or at least an updated business card, this is bad. It drains credibility.. legitimacy.. relevancy from your business.
What other habits, or moments, are bad for business?