3 Networking Mistakes that Professionals Make

Networking is one of the best things you can do for yourself when growing your career. You want your name to be mentioned whenever you are not around and you also want people to remember you one day when they are looking to grow their talent. It never stops. Networking is not a seasonal thing. As long as you have not yet retired and you still have a career to build, this should be part of your everyday to do list.

What does that mean though? What exactly does it look like? This is something that a lot of people do not understand. They get put in positions where they can really network and return with nothing tangible. Mainly, it is because of these 3 mistakes.

Failing to Direct the Conversation Towards Networking

Here is the deal. When we are at an event, we will most likely get caught up on conversations about the event itself. If you are having a conversation with a decision maker and that is all you talk about, they will forget about you by the time they get home. You are the one who wants to make an impression on the decision maker. Them…they are sorted. They came for knowledge. So, you are the one that must find subtle ways to drive the conversation towards a direction that will help you get the information that you need or share the information that will leave an impression.

Missing Opportunities to “Pitch” in the Conversation

Every conversation has an opportunity to pitch. Take it from a serial networker here. It may happen in the first sentence. It might happen in the middle of the conversation. It may even happen at the end. That is why when we network, we listen…carefully. You need to be patient, but you also need to be quick on your feet. As soon as they mention challenges, ask to hear more. Break it down with them. Then, do your little pitch. Listen, do not start reading your CV to them. Speak about the time when you had the same challenge and how you solved it. Something along those line. It must fit right into the conversation.

Not Asking the Important Questions

I remember someone telling me that they met a decision maker at an event and somehow, that decision maker was enjoying a conversation with them so much that he did not even bother networking with other people. During breaks, they were together. At the buffet, they were together. At some point, they even went to the bathroom together. However, when I asked the person what the decision maker was like, they said “Such a cool person”. They did not get to understand what pulls their heart strings. How their schedule normally looks. Their goals for the company. How can you slot yourself in when you do not know that information?

Yes, there is a lot to uncover in this topic, but take sometime to assess whether you are making these mistakes. You can also comment and ask questions so that I can give direction. If you found this insightful, please do not forget to drop a like below.

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About Sibusiso Nkosi

Seasoned Executive. Board Member. Certified Life Coach (Specializing in Career Coaching).

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