7 Networking Mistakes to Avoid

February 23, 2011  |  

(Wall Street Journal) — Large-scale networking events can help you bolster your Rolodex and make connections that can land you a wealth of new contacts, connections and clients.  Coming across as both professional and engaging to those new contacts, however, isn’t as simple as it may seem.    “It takes about 200 times the information to undo a first impression than it takes to make one,” says Devora Zack, author of “Networking for People Who Hate Networking,” and president of Only Connect Consulting, a career consulting firm in Washington, D.C. Landing new clients or investors at an event requires more than just a pulled-together pitch and some original ideas.  It might seem like a lot of pressure, but remembering the things you shouldn’t do may help make networking a bit easier. Here are seven of networking’s biggest no-no’s:

1. Don’t arrive late.  To make things easier on yourself, time your arrival so you can maximize the interactions you’re most interested in having.  “Especially for people who typically shy away from networking, the inclination is to arrive on the later side,” says Ms. Zack. “The opposite is a much better strategy. Being the first person there, it’s calmer, laid back, and people haven’t yet settled into groups. You won’t feel like there’s no one to talk to.”

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