You’ve seen these schmooze artists I’m sure. They are the ones that have a business card in hand ready to hand them out to anyone and eager to get from anyone. They have that pre-rehearsed elevator speech and are ready to deliver it even if you’re not ready to hear it. These type of people are generally out for themselves and have a false sincerity. This is the image that many people have when they hear the word — “networking.”
The reality is these are networking jerks. They don’t have the foggiest idea what true connecting is about or the value of meaningful trust-based relationships. In Keith Ferrrazi’s book, Never Eat Alone he shares a few rules to ensure you never become a “networking jerk:”
- Don’t schmooze. Have something to say and say it with passion. Make sure you have something to offer when you speak, and offer it with sincerity.
- Don’t rely on the currency of gossip. It just creates lack of trust in the long run.
- Don’t come to the party empty-handed. In connecting, you’re only as good as what you give away.
- Don’t treat those under you poorly.
- Be transparent. People respond with trust when they know you’re dealing straight with them.
- Don’t be too efficient. Reaching out to others is not a numbers game. Nothing comes off as less sincere than receiving a mass e-mail. It’s not about mass —- it’s about connecting.