Author: Matt Kendall (Founder
of The Interesting Business Club)
Article Title: 7 Reasons Why You Suck At Networking
Article Date: September 2013
Mini Biog: Founder of The
Interesting Business Club and Interesting
Talks London which is one of the largest MeetUps in the
The phrase 'It's not what you know, it's who you know' is
never truer than in the film industry. With year round screenings,,film
festivals, events and parties we are constantly meeting and
card swapping with new people in the industry, netowrking
goes with the territory and good contacts very often result
in quality paid work and could perhaps lead to that big break
we're all looking for. Matt Kendall has run several business
networking companies and his observations and experience of
networking apply so much to our industry, Matt was kind enough
to share these in the following article - read, take note,
implement, and reap the rewards.
Why You Suck At Networking
There are a few people who do very well at networking,
however most people totally suck at it! Here are the 7 main
reasons why you suck at networking:
1. You Treat Networking
Like A Selling Event
This is probably the most common mistake I
have seen. People attend a networking event in the hope of
selling their product or service to the other attendees. A
networking event has not been arranged for you to treat like
some sort of market. Instead of trying to sell whatever it
is to who is there, you should be trying to establish and
nurture connections with other people.
2. You Fail To
I simply cannot understand people who attend
networking events, meet amazing people and then fail to actually
do anything about it. Not following up on leads really shouts
volumes about you and how you conduct business.
Make sure that you have set aside a suitable
amount time the next day (or later that day if possible) to
process the leads and follow up with people. This is the single
most important part of networking. Don’t just dump the
business cards you collected into a draw. The longer you leave
it, the less likely you will do anything.
3. You Don’t
Make Any Kind Of Notes
How many people do you meet networking? How
many conversations do you remember and what actions you have
agreed to take? Chances are that you have multiple conversations
and promised to do a range of things from meeting up for a
coffee to sending over a file to giving someone a quote.
How on earth are you able to remember all of
this? Some people will write notes on the back of business
cards, this is ok but unreliable. What I have found to work
the best is to have a small note pad and pen. When speaking
with someone, make notes about who they are and what the next
step is and then paperclip their business card to that page.
Simple, yet highly effective.
4. You Only Attend
Networking takes time. The kind of deals I
have seen done at networking events can involve serious amount
of money, so build trust with people takes more than one meeting.
By attending an event just the once and then
writing it off is simply foolish. You don’t go to the
gym once and suddenly become fit! You should commit to going
to a few networking events regularly and build and maintain
5. You Treat It
Like A Social Event
You often forget that you are at the networking
event to work and you are also representing yourself and your
business conduct to others. By treating these events like
a social event, you are likely to put people off working with
I have seen people getting really drunk, doing
drugs and even making out with each other. There are often
free bars at networking events, it is ok to have a drink but
you must really limit yourself. You can get drunk any time,
just not when you are being evaluated and judged by potential
6. You Have No
I have met so many people who attend networking
events just because they think by attending things will just
work out. They have no plan what so ever and just assume attending
alone will generate sales and joint ventures.
Before you attending a networking event, think
to yourself “why am I attending this event? Who would
you like to meet? What would I actually like to get out of
it?”. When you have a clear idea about what it is you
want to get from the event, you can create a plan. When you
get there you can get on with things, rather than standing
around waiting for stuff to happen.
7. You Are Easily
The sad reality is that you are just not than
memorable and people will soon forget who you are and fail
to connect with you after the event. Think about your appearance,
your business cards, your conversation patter, your perfume/aftershave
and your overall impact. Chances are you are probably very
bland and will blend in to the background. Instead you want
to appeal to people on all senses.
You want to stand out from the crowd and attractive
positive attention. Your business cards should be colourful,
possibly an unconventional shape and with a clear picture
of yourself. Your clothes should represent your ambition and
you should be happy!
Having something quirky, unique and memorable
will help you to stick in people’s minds. People are
going to make assumptions about you and your business, so
make sure that you have as much control over this as possible.
So there you have it, the 7 reasons why you
suck at networking. If you network successfully then you can
build and expand your business in amazing ways.
Matt's Contact Details:
Interesting Business Club