Devote Yourself to creating something that gives you purpose . . .

"So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning."

Tuesdays with Morrie, author Mitch Albom

Friday, March 19, 2010

Networking - the "Don't List"

On the third Thursday of the Month, a local group called "Businesses Helping Businesses" provides a free program in support of small business entrepreneurs. This month's topic was networking where we had two speakers, one focusing on face-to-face networking, and the other focused on social media. With permission, I am reprinting a list that was provided containing the "Don't of Networking".

Don't Act Desperate - people prefer to associate with successful people. If they think you are desperate, they will avoid you like the plague.

Don't Sell - Never enter into any networking situation with the intention of selling. Networking is not sales; its relationship building.

Don't Monopolize - Respect the value and short supply of other people's time. Appreciate that your contacts are also attending to meet people and build relationships.

Don't Ask too Soon - Avoid asking for help until you've developed a relationship with your contact.

Don't Solicit Competitors - Don't ask for or expect help from those who are in direct competition with you. Be realistic.

Don't Show Off or Brag - Nobody likes braggarts and blowhards, except their mothers, and even that isn't always so.

Don't Interrupt - It's rude and turns everyone off. It tells people that you think that what you have to say is more important than what they have to say.

Don't Just Talk About You - Besides irritating others, you won't learn anything by talking only about yourself.

Don't Play it By Ear - Anticipate and be prepared. Have a killer 15-second "elevator speech" prepared to deliver along with the follow-up information that they might request.

Don't Misrepresent You - The purpose of networking is to build long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships. If you pretend to be what you are not, sooner or later you will be caught.

Don't Promise What You Can't Deliver and Don't Pry - Be clear about information you need, but don't ask questions about areas that seem confidential.

Don't Linger with Losers and "Hangers-On" - Your time is valuable and if you let them, some people will take as much of it as you allow. They latch onto you, try to take whatever they can get that could help them and are hard to shake.

Don't Over-Extend - Select a few prime targets that you think you can realistically reach and put them on your "A" List. Be realistic; concentrate your utmost efforts on a few worthy targets, and place the rest on your "B" List. (All of your fellow group members should be on your "A" List. These are the people who will see you. Your meeting should be the most important appointment for the week.)

Don't Be Discouraged - Most good things take time, patience, and work. When you try to build relationships, you are attempting to become a part of someone’s life and many desirable people won't let you right in.

Source:  Networking Magic" - provided by Pamela Blake, Grand Haven Chamber of Commerce

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