BUSINESS NETWORKING ETIQUETTE 101
Follow through quickly and efficiently on all referrals you are given. When people give you referrals, your actions are a reflection on them. Respect and honour that and your referrals will grow.
DO ask open-ended questions:
This form of questioning opens up the discussion and makes listeners feel as though you have a genuine interest in what they have to say, therefore increasing their likelihood to want to interact with you again.
DO reach outside your industry:
By reaching beyond your profession for business connections you can find amazing people who don’t compete with you.
Establish partnerships with these people and remember; if you refer their business they are likely to return the favour.
DO seek out mutually beneficial connections:
You may desperately want to connect with the top people in your industry, but the best connections are symbiotic.
You must earn the right to connect. You may not have anything to offer those at the top of your industry. Instead, find people who can benefit from your knowledge and connect with them.
DON’T expect referrals from colleagues:
Don’t expect colleagues with similar expertise to be referral sources. Be realistic; they are as unlikely to share business with you at their loss as you are to give away your clients to them.
DON’T rush into business relationships:
Don’t rush into business relationships. By making the effort to have lunches, get acquainted and never push a card or brochure on anyone you will build more genuine relationships.
Don’t make every meeting about the handing over of collateral. Send follow-up notes after catch-ups with the material a couple of days later.
DON’T hand out your business card to everyone:
Networking isn’t a numbers game. Be selective with who you want to network with. Focus on building a small list of quality connections rather than a large list of insignificant contacts.
DON’T wait for contacts to come to you:
Whatever your current circle of friendships and relationships, you should be actively and constantly striving to add new circles of influence to your network.
Your network will not expand to new circles of influence without some effort on your part. Show up to networking events and make yourself known!