The importance of networking can’t be overstated and success is ofter linked directly to the quality and cultivation of networks. But just like anything in the life there are two sides of networking and networking fails can do major damage. Your brand, good name, and reputation are constantly open for scrutiny and how you network can effect these things. Let’s examine some networking fails to avoid so you can focus on success instead of damage repair.
1. No maintenance. Often times we view our business network as only something valuable when we need to use it. This kind of thinking only allows for cultivation of relationships when you have a project or something that you need. Successful network building is about maintaining relationships in a consistent manner especially when you don’t have anything to pitch. Keep in touch with your network often and take a genuine interest in others.
2. It’s not all about you. As entrepreneurs we are all driven by the delusion that our business, product, idea, project is the best in the world and everyone should jump on our bandwagon. Well guess what? We are all wrong. You don’t need to sell yourself 24/7 to build a useful network, in fact, selling yourself will hurt your network and cause others to ignore you. Take a step back and simply listen to others and build real relationships with other human beings. This kind of strategy is necessary for strong network growth.
3. Being cruel. Being polite and courteous is such an important characteristic in networking. Show tact and treat others as you would want to be treated. Cliche I know, but it’s called the golden rule for a reason.
4. Asking for a favor too soon. Wait to ask for favors. Asking for a favor or trying to get someone on board with your project too soon can ruin your reputation. Build a natural human relationship that is complete with trust building, meal sharing, and several personal interactions before asking a favor. This will go a long way and will yield the highest results.
5. Acting selfishly. Giving back into your network will single-handedly grow your brand and reputation more than anything else. Openly offer your services, advice, help, and resources to those in your network whom you want to work with long term. This generous act of giving will evoke the laws of reciprocity in your network and your efforts will come back to you in time.
Combat the typical networking fails with these guidelines and grow your social capital like a professional. Good luck from Setster.