You’ve found the right networking group. Kudos! You show up at the event - ready to network. But, wait. Did you forget to carry something?
Yes! Everything you're not supposed to say.
You might carry all the knowledge about what you're supposed to say. But, it's equally important to know the ‘don’ts’. The 'don'ts' start from the smallest acts and words – the ones that make the biggest impact.
And that’s why today we will highlight 5 things you should avoid saying while networking.
#1 “You would agree” – avoid this phrase at all times.
While networking, you must avoid casually throwing around phrases in your speech.
When you use the expression “you would agree”, this implies that the opposite person agrees with your beliefs. The truth is that the person you're talking to may not agree with your statements. The person may not necessarily counter you but a disconnect has already formed in his mind.
When people realize that they don’t connect with you, they will not be comfortable opening up about opportunities.
#2 Avoid claiming that you are the best.
It’s good to be confident about your strengths. But, blowing your own horn isn’t a great approach. When you claim how you’re the best at what you do, it can appear boastful.
Instead, stay humble. Allow the opposite person to decide your credibility and excellence. If you're genuinely good and sincere, the world will take notice.
Also, when they make that decision, they've established trust in you. This helps break one of the common barriers - the inability to trust people. Once broken, it's easier for them to work with you.
#3 Avoid showing your competition down.
To build strong professional relationships, there's only one way to play. Play on your strengths. Don’t play on your competition's weaknesses.
There’s no need to talk down your competition. The opposite person may think that you’re highly insecure. Or, you’re engulfed in a superiority complex. None of these impressions will help build likeability or trust towards you.
Healthy competition is a must as it keeps everyone sharp. Give your competition the kind of respect it deserves to receive the same.
#4 Avoid making big claims about your product/service.
You of course love what you sell. Agreed! But that doesn't mean you need to dump your products/services on anybody.
Always speak about your product or service in a true sense. Highlight the pain points that it can address. State its benefits. Showcase how it has helped other people. Be open to having a conversation to clear doubts and questions.
Then, let the person decide if the product/service meets his needs or not. Allow him/her to be the final decision-maker.
#5 Don’t ask for something without an opening.
Remember this, you cannot build a relationship without laying a foundation.
People make this one common mistake. They happen to meet someone for the first time and quickly ask for a professional request.
For example, if you are looking for a job, you meet someone and quickly ask him to put in a good word for you in their firm. You don’t invest time in building credibility. Or, you don't allow the conversation to progress to a level wherein the opposite person is open to such a request.
Networking is about people 'connecting' with people to explore mutual success. It isn't only about marketing yourself. So, respect your network and be ready to help your contacts. After all, networking is a two-way street.