Whether you’re networking for a new job or for new business, the same rules apply. . . your number one goal should be developing the relationship with the person with whom you’re networking. Developing a relationship begins with having a conversation.
I frequently attend networking events and had the pleasure to attend a recent gathering with HR professionals and the vendors who work with them. As in any group, there were good and bad networkers, individuals you like immediately and those you don’t.
In this instance I ran across two people who prompted this post. The first a very charming person who was well-spoken, knew her industry and organization very well and was a great representative of her organization. BUT, she monopolized the conversation. In fact, rather than having a conversation it was a monologue. On and on she went, at first interesting and even fascinating and finally on and on until she achieved the status of bore.
That brings us to the first networking no-no, don’t monopolize the conversation. Actually take an interest in those that are gathered around you, ask questions and engage them in the conversation. Find out what they’re about and how you may be of help to them.
The second person was amazingly rude. Yes, rude. I was chatting with a recruiter who was a class act and an interesting conversationalist. This second person overheard our conversation and barged in with “I overheard you, are you a recruiter?” She completely dismissed me, even physically blocking me away from our little group with her body. She too was a recruiter and couldn’t wait to find out if this other recruiter did “splits” (splitting fees for recruiting assignments).
It was a case of crass vs. class. I certainly would never recommend the crass act’s service to anyone, nor I think would the class act recruiter to whom I’d been speaking. Which brings me to what seems like an obvious no-no, don’t be rude!