Networking for Dummies

by Hannah Tighe on  May 5, 2010 |
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blog imageRecently, I have gone to some networking events, and I have been astounded by the absolute rudeness of some people.   I thought I would share a few experiences( and rant like hell)  to see if I am just crazy or if this is what is occurring at events you attend, too.   For your enjoyment, I decided to characterize some of the absolute winners I have met recently.  I know I have been guilty of some of these behaviours, and perhaps you have to, so I thought I would write it all down, so we can all try for the greater good  to get a freaking grip!

1.   The It’s -all -about- me -Droner: If you talk about yourself  for more than about three minutes, my focus is going to fade quickly.  I mean, really, let’s be honest… I don’t care.  If you have spent our whole 2-5 minutes talking about you and never try to engage me, or ask about my interests, hobbies, or business, the only think I am thinking is,  “Ugh… next! In fact, most likely behind my wide smile, I am thinking when is this person going to shut up so I can politely excuse myself and find someone that will make all this schlepping worth while.

2. Bad Breath Bob/Barb Close Talker:  Have you ever been to one of these events and someone is just a little too close for comfort?  Have you ever stepped back only to have that person continue moving in your direction as though they are channeling their inner stalker.  My favorite is when they obviously have been hitting the hummus and that jalapeno pepper cheese dip.  Remember, sewer breath stalker, “This is your personal space, this is my personal space.”  My favorite personal tip is to always carry Trident gum ( that gum just seems like it packs a wallop in a second or two) and pop it into my mouth right before an event,  during downtime, and after eating.  I always chew for a minute or two to refresh  and then discard.  Please note:  Always, discard.  I have forgotten and my husband has let me know that on a good day, I  look trashy, and on a bad day, I look like a relative to “Mr. Ed.”

3.  Mr. Multi- Level Mysterious Maven:  Look,  I have been involved in multi-level marketing in the past, and there are some great products, training programs, etc. out there.  Please be honest, don’t be weird and mysterious, and for god’s sake, don’t be all about why your product is SOOOO great and make the meeting all about you or your product.  If people are looking and you are honest and have their best interests at heart, they will be a tremendous down- line.  If you are proud of the product and your company… be excited and that will translate to someone who is looking…

4.  Mr. Anger Management:  Recently, I went to a round table where we were supposed to be helping one another grow our business through networking and referral.  There was a supposedly very successful guy there who went on and on about how successful he was and how he doesn’t have time for this or that or this type of person or whatever.   The entire time he was talking, I kept thinking, ” Wow, this guy needs some anger  therapy or maybe some Prozac ”  Then he ended up saying a racial slur to prove his point… the whole round table just sat there stunned… So as the song says, .” If your angry and you know it…stomp your feet,  get some Prozac  and don’t go to a networking event!”

5. Self -Absorbed Sara:  I met another charmer whom I had met before at another event.  I called her by name and told her I enjoyed her  email newsletter, ( which was just being polite, since she sent it to me without asking permission after saying hello and grabbing my card the first time I met her.  By the way another  pet peeve of mine).  I mentioned I had referred her to a friend of mine, whom was in need of a service of hers… she just smiled vacantly at me, said” Oh great thank you “, and then asked if I needed more cards of hers.  She didn’t ask me how I was doing, how business was going for me,  or who my ideal client was.  I really don’t think I will be referring her anyone else.

So that is my pent up rant on networking… Please feel free to comment if these people are ones who frequent your networking jaunts or if I am just extremely lucky!

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