There are so many things that we are told to do in order to successfully network, but what are the most important things you shouldn’t do in order to become a successful networker?
1. Quit expecting: The more you expect from someone else, the less you will obtain from them. You have to stop believing that networking is only done for your benefit, the other person is talking to you because they want something to! If you are too demanding, they will find you boring and think that you just want too many things from them. Always remember that networking is a two-way path!
2. Quit avoiding: Maybe there is someone you really don’t want to talk to, but let’s be honest, you have to. Who knows if they have something to offer you and you never find out because you have been always hiding from them. We all have things we don’t want to do, but we have to do them because that’s life. I’m sorry.
3. Quit being afraid to ask: Imagine you are having a really cool conversation with an investor and suddenly a million questions bump into your head. Ask them! The investor will see you show interest and that you are a professional and curious person who will not let him down if they decide to invest money in your company.
4. Quit waiting until tomorrow: Do not put off until tomorrow what you can accomplish today. If you have met someone really interesting email, them straight away. If you get it done now, you won’t have to do it later and won’t have the additional weight on your mind until then. Networking is all about making new contacts and that is what you have to do. By emailing them, you show interest and ensure yourself that they will remember who you are (you only met them a couple of hours ago!).
5. Quit being the victim: People like people who smile, and that’s a fact. If you are networking and all you can say is that you hate your life and work but you have to do it because there is no other option, people will think: a) This guy needs a therapist or b) What is the nicest way to tell him that I don’t care? What you really need is to make them choose option c) This guy rocks!