In the past week, I attended five networking events. I observed an interesting phenomenon. Maybe it isn’t a phenomenon, actually, I’m really hoping it isn’t becoming one. On several occasions, I experienced networkers providing unimportant information to those around them that they were recently introduced to. Let me provide you with a few examples. First of all, I met a young lady that appeared to have herself well put together and presented the preface of her business well. She decided to share that her family is going through some “stuff” and I believe brought this up as an excuse for not meeting deadlines. If you are at a networking event you should be putting your best foot forward and representing your business in the most professional way. In airing your dirty laundry in front of others they may not want to hire you for their next project or whatever it is you are selling.
There was another individual who very loudly stated that he had to get to the gym. If you are more focused on getting to the gym perhaps the building muscle is a priority over building your business. Lastly and the most surprising of “over-sharing” was at a woman in business networking event. One of the board members loudly told those who would listen that she was leaving the board for some personal reasons involving another board member. When you are perceived as a complainer instead of a solution guru why would someone want to hire you?
I really think the new rule of networking should be – if this event is not the most important thing you can be doing and your heart is not in it then sit this one out. Present yourself and your business in the very best light you can. This means dressing appropriately, having business cards with you, being able to talk about your business without the pitch and asking genuine questions of those you are meeting. Once you determine if you have a synergy or a referral source set up a one on one meeting to discuss further.