Marketing 101: Networking Part 2 – Networking Etiquette

Networking etiquette is easily the most important thing that can make or break your business in any networking group. It tells people almost immediately what type of business and person you are, and it allows them to nearly instantly decide if they want to entertain the idea of doing business with you. The importance of networking etiquette cannot be overstated!

  1. Always be polite and positive – This one seems obvious but believe it or not people fail on this most basic step frequently. When you go to any networking function it doesn’t matter what type of day you had, it doesn’t matter how you’re feeling, it doesn’t matter what text you got or call you had to take immediately before walking in. What matters is the impression you’re making on new people is going to last with them for what will likely be the rest of your relationship and if that impression is negative then it could have far reaching effects on your ability to grow your business in that community.
  2. Always be selfless – Another point which seems obvious but is overlooked more than virtually every other aspect of networking Is the need to put other’s before yourself. If you talk to everyone with the intention of what they can do for you rather than what you can do for them, you won’t get very far. Selflessness will create goodwill and positive results for your business that can last for decades. Your results may be a little slower at first than selfish networking, but they will grow exponentially and lead to tremendously more business in the long run.
  3. Always follow up – If someone wants to follow up with you after a networking event, meet with them. It doesn’t matter if you can use the services that person offers. It doesn’t matter if you have an immediate lead to provide to that person. Always meet with anyone who wants to follow up with you after a networking event because you never know if days, weeks, or months down the road they can give you that life changing lead. Even if you are worried they may be trying to sell you something, what does one meting truly cost you compared to the potential downside? Additionally refusing to follow up with people can come off as selfish or negative by assuming the worst of the person who is trying to follow up with you or showing that you’re only interested in people who can immediately benefit you.
  4. Appearance matters – Especially in our modern society we like to live our lives asking everyone to see us for who we are not how we look, but we all know better. People make judgements of others within moments of seeing them, so pay attention to your appearance at networking events and remember it’s okay to be slightly overdressed.

While the above points are far from exhaustive they’ll put you ahead of 75% of other businesses out there in the results you get while networking.