Business Networking: Don’t Be A Networking Fool!

Aprilfool2April 1st can be a day of silliness and pranks all in the name of "April Fool's Day."  And who doesn't enjoy a good gag and a laugh, right? (unless you are the recipient, aka "the fool.")

Well, whether it's April Fool's Day or any day, no one wants to look foolish when they are networking.  Yet, there are so many things we say and do (and don't say and do) when we are networking that can make us look less than stellar. 

So, how can we avoid "playing the networking fool?" 

Follow some of this great advice from author, social networking and branding expert Thom Singer in his list of "66 Tips for Better Networking."  There's everything from the basics — smiling, getting "out there" and saying "thank-you"— to the more advanced techniques and strategies like referral partners, building your brand and having the right mindset.  Two of my favorites are:

"Tip #29 "Hey"   Many of us become uncomfortable reaching out to people that we've lost contact with — perhaps we feel guilty about not staying in touch or we just don't know what to say.  Whatever the reason, get over it!  Send out an email to say hello and that you've been thinking of them.  Ask them to let you know what they've been up to lately.  This will usually prompt a reply and can even lead to business opportunities and referrals.  Don't wait for the other person to make the first move — take action and say "hey!" today.

Tip #57 Keep it Short   Be brief when writing or speaking. You will make a bigger impact on other people when you keep your thoughts and ideas concise. This shows them that you are confident in your convictions and that you respect their time. It will also give them the opportunity to join in the conversation."

There are lots more gems on the list and putting any one of the tips into practice will put you well on your way to building a successful, thriving network!

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  1. Tip #29 is great. I am always amazed when I ask clients when the last time they reached out to their past clients and old contacts was and they say, “For some, it has been over a year.”

    It takes me some time to encourage them to reach out, but once they do I always get the same response. OMG, they were so happy to hear from me and one of them gave me a referral. Your sphere is your best sources of referrals, you have to stay in touch with them — reaching out after a while is fine. You are losing out if you don’t.

  2. Cathy Jennings says:

    Hi Celeste!

    Thanks for stopping by the No Pressure Networking Blog and chiming in on this topic.

    Staying in touch is so essential, yet I hear over and over from business professionals that they “don’t have time for follow up” because they are busy finding new customers. What I usually discover in my conversations with these folks is that they just don’t have a strategy or process for it all.

    I’m always on the lookout for great tools for staying in touch and am “testing” your Happy Grasshopper product right now.

    Celeste works for Happy Grasshopper — an innovative, simple way to stay in touch with your network and bring value to them — automatically!