Studies show that 84% of people still prefer in-person meetings, and 85% say that in-person meetings build stronger, more meaningful business relationships
Networking with others is one of the most important ways that we have in business to find new customers and to make connections with others that can lead to our long-term success. While communications technology has taken over many of our business interactions, studies show that 84% of people still prefer in-person meetings, and 85% say that in-person meetings build stronger, more meaningful business relationships.
Unfortunately, many of us under utilize this important resource due to a variety of mistakes we make when it comes to networking. According to career expert Ines Temple, president of LHH-DBM Peru and LHH Chile, these 10 specific networking mistakes can get in the way of your success.
1. "I don't like to make contacts"
Making contacts is "the conscious and voluntary activity of establishing and maintaining genuine and long-term relationships with persons who we appreciate and respect." It's a part of living and interacting within a community and we do it every day.
2. "Contacts are useful only to find work"
It's a fact that 9 out of 10 jobs are landed, whether directly or indirectly, through contacts. But networking is about making those relationships worthwhile, renewing the bond, and mutually redefining our identity, image, and reputation with each interaction. (And asking a contact for a job is a serious mistake!).
3. "I network only when it's convenient for me"
This is tantamount to saying "I remember you only when I need you." Networking solely for your own benefit is self-centered and may be even manipulative. It's the perfect way to destroy a relationship. We can smell manipulation miles away!
4. "I'm too busy"
Although nothing beats face-to-face interactions to build relationships of trust and affection, digital alternatives are effective to prevent us from vanishing from the face of the earth, a deadly sin in the professional world.
5. "It distracts me from serious work"
time and energy, but it is key to employability-it is the "salesforce"
of our image and reputation. Without contacts, our accomplishments and
progress remain unknown and our personal brand ends up being worthless.
6. "I don't like to go to social events"
professional world also provides alternatives to interact with new and
diverse people and expand your thinking patterns. Hanging out with the
same people every day shows disregard for others, and we may end up
being left behind.
7. "Have you heard the latest rumor?"
our contact network to harm reputations or to gossip destroys our
credibility and our own reputation as serious or loyal individuals, even
if we only become involved by listening. Is it worth it? You never know
what tomorrow may bring...
8. "I can only afford to build relationships with important contacts"
a serious mistake to think that only high-level contacts are valuable,
and look down on others or to be arrogant. All people are worthy
regardless of what they work on. There's no such thing as a small
9. "I have very few contacts"
As adults, we
usually have 500 to 1,000 friends and acquaintances between school and
college classmates, current and former work colleagues, people we know
from our club, gym, the neighborhood, church, from our business, and the
relatives and acquaintances of all of the above. Suppliers and clients,
former suppliers and clients. Parents of our children's friends... Make
your list and protect it-ideally, in the cloud.
10. "I must impress my contacts"
essence of every good relationship is trust, not impressing others.
Acting appropriately, and being genuinely warm and authentic opens the
doors to trust and credibility. Being polite to everyone and listening
to them with a real interest benefits your personal and professional
image and reputation. The secret is to inspire others and always leave
something valuable for them in every interaction!
Image Credit: Getty images
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business networking association dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs develop, expand and grow. We offer affordable opportunities to help create a positive impact and advancement in your business interests and personal quality of life to take you to the next level.
Stay Connected with WNFP!