Networking's 10 Things To Avoid That Will Surprise You

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Inner Architect

“The #1 biggest mistake people make when networking is the Hard Sell”

Today a question came up in Susan Hanshaw’s career and transition workshop presented to the Marin Professionals Association in San Rafael, California. It was one of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind:

“What’s the best way to network?”

Before we examine the best method(s) to network and how to define networking, let’s identify the #1 biggest mistake people make when networking: The Hard Sell

Networking is not:

 

 

 

  1. Selling yourself, your products, or your services
  2. Not "puking" your 15-30 second elevator pitch all over your listener
  3. “Working the Room” to gather as many business cards as possible in one session
  4. Soliciting advice from people you yet to know
  5. Begging for introductions to other people
  6. Turning off your ears and listening skills
  7. Monopolizing everyone’s time with your sales pitch
  8. Ignoring the networking organization’s message, niche, and membership
  9. Ignoring your homework to find out who you wish to meet at the meeting you plan to attend
  10. Asking for value before offering value yourself

 

Stay tuned next week when I define networking and identify the #1 Best Method to Networking.

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Rainmaker
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Dean Guadagni
Inner Architect - San Rafael, CA

Hi Dean, thanks again for your feedback--two comments on two separate posts. I really appreciate this information as it gives me a measuring stick to understand if I am providing value. It is greatly appreciated.

Now I am completely with you on the double edged sword that asking for an opinion can be to a person's communication. Sometimes, if you sense a quick and genuine connection has been forged, it is alright to ask for an opinion.

The situation dictates your actions and being able to interpret how well you are connecting goes a long way too! Thanks again Dean!

dean

Aug 21, 2008 11:58 AM #27
Rainmaker
142,667
Dean Guadagni
Inner Architect - San Rafael, CA

Hi Amy, first let me thank you for reading and for commenting. You provide a measuring stick for my effectiveness. It is such a great method to connect when you offer to help someone and your offer is valued by that person. You immediately establish the fact that you are a professional, you will be around for a long time, and that you wish to engage in a mutually beneficial business relationship. Great work!

dean

Aug 21, 2008 12:01 PM #28
Rainmaker
321,718
AJ Heidmann
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

If people would just concentrate on the first two items on your list, they would go a long way.  I've been to several networking events where you want to wear a poncho to fend off all the "puking".

Aug 21, 2008 12:21 PM #29
Rainmaker
142,667
Dean Guadagni
Inner Architect - San Rafael, CA

AJ and Jodee, well said and I agree. It really is #1 that is the biggest mistake people make. And yes I too have felt that a poncho, rain gear, and boots for all the dookie on the floor would be helpful. Thank you for joining the conversation and your valued comment!

dean

Aug 21, 2008 03:10 PM #30
Rainmaker
207,132
Dee Nofziger
|Key Realty | Maumee Toledo Real Estate Blog - Toledo, OH
Maumee Real Estate, Toledo Homes, Key Realty

The best way to network is to just let yourself shine through. Then THEY'LL gravitate to YOU the next timer without any prodding!

Aug 21, 2008 04:05 PM #31
Rainmaker
142,667
Dean Guadagni
Inner Architect - San Rafael, CA

Hi Dee, that is good advice and something that someone was referring to when they suggested that a person just "act naturally." You sound like a personable positive person so it is probably easier for you than many people who feel somewhat intimidated by networking.

That is the reason why I suggest that everyone get in touch with what they can offer of value for free on a continuous basis. Thanks for your feedback!

dean

 

Aug 21, 2008 04:43 PM #32
Rainer
77,643
Latonia Parks
Top Bragg Realty, Fayetteville NC, Home of the 82d ABN DIV - Fayetteville, NC
Military Relocation Expert

I love networking but I also do not push myself on anyone.  While I have on, at a minimum, my REALTOR(R) pin, I try to use that as the opener.  You definitely brought up some valid points.

Aug 21, 2008 08:39 PM #33
Rainmaker
142,667
Dean Guadagni
Inner Architect - San Rafael, CA

Hi Latonia, that is a smart idea wearing a pin to identify yourself. I a way it is similar to my coffee table books that are really on my coffee table to spark interest in travel conversations.

Here is an idea--why doen't Active Rain produce a button stating you are active member of AR. They could even make buttons for featured contributors, group leaders, and so on. I like that idea. Thanks for you feedback and participation!

dean

Aug 21, 2008 11:34 PM #34
Ambassador
884,211
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Dean - Show what you know.  Engage the consumer on their level, showing that you understand them.  By engaging, I mean answering their questions.  Making sure they know you are available...  I don't think you could look at any of my blogs and not know that I am a real estate agent in Georgia.  Why should I keep saying it over and over?

And by all means, don't tell people you are #1... or any other trite RE cliche.  In fact, I got a lot of calls when I said I wasn't a short sale expert...

Aug 22, 2008 08:45 PM #35
Rainmaker
142,667
Dean Guadagni
Inner Architect - San Rafael, CA

Lane, I am with you all the way. Realtors, my mom was a Realtor for 30 years, love live for the trite RE cliches. I am still amazed at the number of agents who insist on having a "tag line" as the end all be all for branding. My mom's best friend in the 70's was "The Realtor with a Smile" and it drove me nuts even then as a kid.

Being recognized as knowledgable, being open and available to communicate, and being willing like you demonstrate is so much more valuable than being a cliche. Great job and as always thank you for adding to the conversation.

dean

Aug 22, 2008 11:56 PM #36
Rainmaker
58,847
Gregory Lohr
Freedom Foreclosure Prevention Services - West Columbia, SC

Great info Dean!  I wished I could have read this before I learned a lot of it the hard way.  I keep waiting to receive my diploma to the School of Hard Knocks.  It should arrive in the mail...sometime soon.  You have to notify me of future blogs on this subject!

 

Aug 23, 2008 11:14 PM #37
Rainmaker
142,667
Dean Guadagni
Inner Architect - San Rafael, CA

Hi Gregory, thank you for the kind words and feedback. I too have made every mistake, in the past hopefully, on the list. I write quite a bit about networking and I will be writing about online social media networking soon. Please consider subscribing to my blog so you don't miss anything. You might check out my past posts:

1. Secrect to Networking Success

2. Skill Set

3. Tips to Engage

4. #1 Method

5. Networking: Super Hero Story

dean

 

 

Aug 24, 2008 10:03 AM #38
Ambassador
499,723
Mirela Monte
Buyers' Choice Realty - North Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach Real Estat

Dean

"Give something that others Value, give it often, and give it WITHOUT asking for anything in return"

Works like a charm.  I found out by accident (I love giving, and I've always been "lucky" because of it).

Sep 04, 2008 11:05 PM #39
Rainmaker
142,667
Dean Guadagni
Inner Architect - San Rafael, CA

Mirela, you made your own luck without realizing it. That is very cool! Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation.

dean

Sep 04, 2008 11:24 PM #40
Rainmaker
211,865
Janice MacMillan
ERA Joyner Realty - Valdosta, GA
Associate Broker

Awesome tips dean. I can't say I have ever been guilty of doing any of those......yet.

Sep 05, 2008 08:38 AM #41
Anonymous
Anonymous

Hi Jan Marie, thank you for such kind words of encouragement. I appreciate your support and I am glad to hear the comments as they give me direction in my writing. Thanks again and please continue to read!

dean

Sep 05, 2008 09:49 AM #42
Rainer
38,644
Kevin & Maryellen Garasky
KMG Mortgage Group - Kevin & Maryellen, Idaho & Washington - Coeur d'Alene, ID
KMG Mortgage Group - ID & WA

Dean - Your comments here are EXACTLY what I had in mind when I posted "Blogging is proof you take your job seriously!" on my blog.

I have been a reluctant blogger until now.  It has taken me a while to come around, but I am learning so much by just browsing around, and I feel I am better equiped to do my job and serve my clients as a result.

Thanks for your words!

Sep 05, 2008 10:47 PM #43
Rainer
77,643
Latonia Parks
Top Bragg Realty, Fayetteville NC, Home of the 82d ABN DIV - Fayetteville, NC
Military Relocation Expert

We participated in an ice breaker where you had a bingo sheet that listed several items, i.e., has 4 children, owns a motorcycle, etc.  You were to work the room to get signatures from the people who fell in this category.  The only problem is you only wanted their signature.  You really did not learn/remember anything about that person.  It defeated the purpose to me.

Sep 05, 2008 11:08 PM #44
Rainmaker
142,667
Dean Guadagni
Inner Architect - San Rafael, CA

Kevin and Maryellen, blogging is really no longer an option it should be a stead fast rule for Realtors. I appreciate your dedication to your work and your clients. It is only human to resist but the reality is that the real estate industry is beginning to see the light of technology even with the push back factor. Keep us updated on how things are going for you; if you need any help or suggestions contact me or read here by subscribing. Thanks so much for the great feedback and support!

dean

Sep 06, 2008 12:23 PM #45
Rainmaker
142,667
Dean Guadagni
Inner Architect - San Rafael, CA

Latonia, those types of tactics or games sometimes help people but the reality is that "working the room" is better left to politicians, hookers, and undercover agents. I had a pair of co-workers (sorry about the pun) who used to go to events to see who could "Work the Room" the best. Their definition was to run around slam cards in hands act cute, flirt, and return with a boat load of cards.

This activity created the following results:

1. Lot's of lunch offers from guys they did not want to date

2. Lot's of cards with names they could not place nor conversations they could reference when calling these new "contacts"

3. A bad reputation with all the other women in the room

4. Drew the ire of our boss

5. Perception was that these people acted like high schoolers

6. Long term tarnished their reputation within the industry

7. They became the "butt" of jokes

8. They never made a true connection leading to a business relationship

9. They were drinking while they worked the room- a cardinal sin and added dirt to their reputations

10. One actually landed an account which fostered, in their mind, the idea that "working the room" worked despite all of the bad results stated above

You are 100% correct Latonia it defeats the entire purpose of meeting someone when you can't even remember anything about them. Thank you for you continued support and feedback!

dean

Sep 06, 2008 12:33 PM #46
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