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Common Mistakes in Business Networking

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  • 0:03 Mistakes to Avoid in Marketing
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Instructor: Tara Schofield
Building a business network involves strengthening personal bonds and helping others. In this lesson we will learn about common mistakes in business networking and how to avoid them. Take a quiz after the lesson to test your knowledge.

Mistakes to Avoid in Marketing

Networking means to meet other people within the same professional field as you and develop a list of valuable contacts. Networking is an enjoyable, powerful activity that many of us in the business or corporate world have to engage in, whether it's at conventions or events specifically designed for networking, like a meet and greet or cocktail party. However, there are some pitfalls you should be aware of as you start to connect with others. Use the steps we cover here to avoid some of the most common mistakes in business networking.

1. Taking More Than You're Giving

We all have a friend or a family member who is consistently taking from others but rarely giving anything in return. People who behave like this are annoying to deal with. In business, these people are avoided. So when you begin to build a business network, think about what you can offer instead of what you can take. You can begin this process by making a list of talents and resources you have that can help others. During networking, you can offer suggestions based on this list. Always give more than you get. If you regularly help others, you will grow a reputation for being dependable and begin to build trusting, respectful relationships with your new business contacts.

2. Trying to Run Before You Walk

Networking is a skill that takes practice and effort. If you expect to connect with the CEOs of major organizations the first month of networking, you will likely be disappointed. However, if you keep networking and meeting new people, you will grow your group of contacts and have more opportunities to meet influential people.

3. Dropping the Ball

Successful networking is based on respect and trust. Respect and trust are earned by following through and keeping your promises. Let's say you meet Jeff, a business owner, at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon. You promise to e-mail Jeff the name and number of your insurance agent, a person who has helped you in the past by finding you lower insurance premiums. If you send Jeff an e-mail containing the contact details of the insurance agent as soon as you return to your office that afternoon, he learns to trust and respect you because you did exactly what you said you would do.

On the other hand, what happens if you leave the Chamber of Commerce luncheon and never think about Jeff again? What if you break the promise you made to him? What will this do for Jeff's trust in you? Because you dropped the ball, Jeff will have little trust in you and he likely won't believe anything you say in the future. By forgetting one simple thing, you've destroyed the chance to build trust from your new business contact. Make sure you keep your word and follow through with your promises.

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