BUSINESS: 7 Mistakes made by entrepreneurs when attempting to network their business

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By Jim Pagiamtzis
July 3rd, 2013 Edition

In the process of transitioning from being a professional in a corporate environment to becoming an entrepreneur, you may unwillingly fall into several networking traps. Here are a few mistakes that entrepreneurs make in the beginning.

Talk too much: The entrepreneur will be so excited and passionate about their business that they will not be able to stop talking about it.

Giving out business cards too fast: There is a term that Cindy Mount from BNI calls “spray and pray” that many new entrepreneurs do. This is the act of going into a room and giving your card to everyone and saying” this is my new business, call me and let me show you the amazing plan, it’s awesome!” This too will lead to failure in more ways than they can image, from business cards being thrown in the garbage after the event.

Not listening enough: Some entrepreneurs do not listen enough. My mentor always said” you have two ears and one mouth”. This is such a simple statement to make but a hard habit to break!

It all comes back to the excitement of passionately sharing your business over and over again, but not taking time to listen and possibly ask a great question!
Not asking good questions: Many networking experts such as Bob Burg Author of Endless Referrals and Ivan Misner founder of BNI have always said in their training about the importance in asking open ended questions so that you can engage in a conversation of mutual benefit. Not asking good questions will lead to a very short and non responsive conversation.

Improper body Language: Having proper body language is a big reflection on who the entrepreneur is and how they treat their business. It may seem a minor issue but you may come across as not being an interesting person to speak to. Moving your hands all over the place in conversations to not standing still and facing who you are speaking to will not create a great speaking environment. Crossing your legs, folding your arms are not positive body language attributes to use in a networking environment.

Not offering valuable information: The ability to have an engaging conversation that of meaning is important to you and the person you are engaging in conversation with. Not offering a tip, suggestion or recommendation doesn’t put you in the position of being able to possible get some great information in return or perhaps more! There is lots of value that you have access to that you can share and be of service. Not doing that puts you in position on not getting a business card or anything else of value from the potential networking attendee.

Not having a giver mentality: Bob Burg author of Go-Giver shares in his book that it’s the power of “sharing value on ongoing basis” where the true magic begins. Not having the giver mentality will only create a frustrating experience in any networking environment. Being able to be a natural giver of your talents, insights and experiences will only enhance your ability to communicate and have better conversations. There is a statement made by many” what goes around come around”. being a giver will tell you the world and universe and other in the room that are a give and are ready to be receiver.

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