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Entrepreneurship 101: You Shouldn't Be a Networking Frog

In generating referrals for your business, you are going to want to spend less time with frogs and more time with princes and princesses − and at the same time, make sure that YOU aren’t a “networking frog,” either!

How do you become networking royalty and find other like-minded referral partners? Here are some signs to look out for when in contact with a networking frog:

-This person is always asking you for referrals, introductions, and favors but rarely reciprocates.

-This person doesn’t seem to have the time to sit down and really learn about your business, goals, and ideal customers.

-When you schedule face-to-face meetings, this person often reschedules the night before or the day of your appointment.

-This person takes forever to return your phone calls and emails, if at all.

-This person rarely goes out of his way to help you, and seem inconvenienced when complying with your request for assistance making a connection.

-This person often makes you feel like you’re just OK to be around, and may not be quite “big enough” for strong collaboration.

-This person talks excessively about herself and her business. She rarely asks you questions. If she does ask, she really doesn’t listen to your answers.

-When you do get around to sharing something about your business, he quickly turns your comment into a chance to move the spotlight back on himself.

-At networking events, this person is hunting for new prospects, shaking hands, and passing out as many business cards as humanly possible, moving quickly from person to person.

-When you exchange business cards with this person, he doesn’t even glance at your card, never makes a written note on the back, and quickly tucks it away in a pocket.

-While you are with this person, she is always looking around to see who else she can be meeting, rather than focusing her attention on you with continued eye contact.

-You always feel a little slimy after an encounter with a networking frog.

How can you be sure that you are a networking prince or princess and not a frog? The simple answer is to do the opposite of what the networking frog does.

-Always giving referrals and making introductions for referral partners, many times before they even ask.

-Spend time to help people with their businesses – invest time and energy to learn what referral partners are looking for in a potential client.

-Let others talk. Listen and maintain eye contact and focus with the person.

– If you are at a networking event, greet new with a smile, introducing them to others, and just being generally helpful.

Unfortunately, you may not be able to tell if you’re dealing with a frog in your first meeting with someone. It may take a little time to discover a person’s true networking nature. Sometimes frogs are on their best behavior at networking events. Their scales and warts reveal themselves later in follow-up interactions with them.

In networking, it is always advised to pattern your networking skills as a helpful individual – you will become known far and wide, throughout the land, as networking royalty.

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