Last week’s message was about not being a shadow on the wall, how to break into networking experiences successfully. It doesn’t matter how long you have been in a community, being visible allows you to make a name for yourself and enhance your credibility with people who count even before you meet. The best way to build relationships and expand your professional and personal network is too get involved with the Chamber, sponsor events or get involved with other organizations. By attending Chamber events you will meet people from a wide variety of industries. Your membership gives you a place to develop relationships with fellow members and this visibility is valuable. When people see you in action in an organization they make up their minds about your character and competence.
Some of the biggest mistakes members make are:
- They join but don’t go to any events
- They attend events but don’t interact with others
- They talk and sit with people they already know.
- They make no effort to be visible; instead, they try to blend into the crowd.
- They wait for others to make the first move.
- They think that handing out business cards is networking.
- They give up too soon by not investing the time needed to build relationships.
- They have non-conversations. They don’t know how to move past “Hi, how are you?” You need to learn to have productive conversations.
- They forget the best way to show character and competence is to contribute their time and energy by volunteering.
If you fall into any of these 9 mistakes, pick one to work on to change. No matter how good you think you are with networking there is always something new we can learn and try to improve our skills. We are here to help you succeed.
By: Cheryl Viola, Executive Director