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  • Networking perspective based on experience and observation by relationship builder, Jason Jacobsohn

« Define Your Personal Brand | Main | My Personal Branding Talk »

April 23, 2007

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Joe Johnson

I attended a rotating table-based networking event once where one of my tablemates was rather arrogant and dismissive of the work of other people in her field. She was a life coach (a field I already know is just smoke, mirrors, and Grade-A B.S.), but the few other "career coaches" and "executive coaches" were dismissed by her as mere simpletons who couldn't possibly compete with the awesome power of life coaching. I certainly lost her card on the way back to my car ...

Thank you for the article, it was most interesting.

Jason Jacobsohn

Thanks for the story Joe. Your example is one reason why some people don't like networking. Some of the bad seeds can ruin it for people. I am glad that you could see past the incident and that it didn't stop you from networking.

Chichi

I enjoyed reading your article, thank you.

I went to a networking event which seemed to be mainly about exchanging business cards. A few days later, I was put on the mailing list of someone who hadn't said more than seven words to me at the event (most probably, "Do you have a card? Here's mine.") and was being sent regular emails without my consent. This person hadn't even bothered to follow up with me after the event, nor had he thought to ask whether I would be interested in receiving his newsletter. After a couple of such emails, I wrote a polite email asking him to take me off his list. He did and I never heard from him again.

Chichi

Jason Jacobsohn

Thanks for sharing. What you experienced is very common, especially with people who just collect cards at events. Rather than building a few quality relationships after an event, these people just want to get as many people as they can in their mailing list. However, this is not a good technique. You should always get permission to put someone on your newsletter list. The last thing you want to do is to build a negative impression of yourself in networking circles.

Robin Gifford

Manners really do matter. Yet everywhere I go, I am aghast at the lack of common courtesies shown to others.

My networking nightmares:
1. A gentleman licking his fingers to free them of food he's just eaten, then shaking my hand. Ugh!

2. Someone who holds their cold, sweating glass in the right hand, then attempts to shake other's hands with this wet hand.

3. People who go to networking events only to mingle with those they already know. When you approach their group, they are incensed that you would step in.

4. Ditto the business cards being shoved at me.

5. Speaking with someone who is more interested in looking around the room, then listening to you answer the question they just asked.

And my most irritating issue is one I take up with myself -- that is not preparing and having a goal for the event. Shame on me!

Thanks for your work.

Robin Gifford
Springboard
Teaching Model Behavior!

Jason Jacobsohn

Thank you Robin for your additional insights from your experience. You bring up some great points about hands. I can't tell you how many people have their hands full when I meet them. Ideally, you should come early and eat so you can talk with people once they arrive. Also, you should always hold the drink in your left hand when you are not sipping so your shaking hand is free and not cold and wet.

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