Ever meet someone at a networking event who turned you off quickly with a negative first impression? Or, who really annoyed you with ineffective follow up? I have – lots of times. I call them ‘Networking Slugs’. They earn that designation for different reasons, but mostly because they don’t practice the simple art of Permission Marketing. Here’s what Networking Pros do to avoid that title:
- Pros never give their business card to you. They wait for you to ask for it or they ask if they can give you a card. People who shove cards in your face, especially when they begin the conversation, are ‘Networking Slugs’. Most of those cards wind up in the trashcan on your way out of the venue.
- Pros respect your time. They indirectly ask permission for only a few minutes of your time at an event by not dominating the conversation or talking too long. They tell less and ask more. When they do follow up with you, they ask within the first few seconds, ” … is this a good time for a brief follow up chat on … ?” They pause to allow you time to respond and honor your request. Slugs talk too much, too long and jump right into it when they call.
- Pros don’t send you anything you didn’t ask for. When discussing a potential opportunity, they ask you what material or information you would like from them. They don’t automatically send you a resume, brochure, samples or other collaterals without asking first. Slugs kill a lot of trees by sending you unwanted material that goes directly to your recycling bin.
So, if you want to network like the pros and never be accused of NSB – that’s ‘Networking Slug Behavior’ – ask more than tell and master the simple art of Permission Marketing.