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3 Biggest Business Networking Mistakes

Here are the three most common mistakes people make while networking:

1. Prospect instead of Network

2. Try to cram everything into their Elevator Pitch

3. Be Formal vs. Conversational

Mistake #1: Prospect instead of Network

If you happen upon a potential customer while networking, then by all means:


set up a sales meeting –

go back to networking WITH OTHER PEOPLE.

You sell to prospects.

You network with non-prospects.

What is networking?

It’s finding three people you enjoy talking to and inviting them to coffee.

That’s how you get to know them.

That’s how you’ll develop trust.

That’s how they’ll think of you when they meet a good prospect for you – as long as you don’t…

Mistake #2: Try to cram everything you do into your Elevator Pitch

Pick one client success.

Just one.

The 55-year-old woman who loves your art.

The single mom who saved for six months to get a portrait of herself and her toddler.

The 11-year-old boy who’s still talking about his Star Wars Jedi Knight Training Balloon Birthday Party.

Specifics start conversations.

And they pre-qualify the people you’re talking to.


Because they’ll ask questions:

“Do you have any balloon parties for 7-year-old girls?”

“Can 35-year-old’s attend your art classes?”

“Do you do portraits for families with grown children?”

Yes! YES! YES!!!!!

People will not make the leap from a general description to their specific situation.

But they will make the leap from a different specific situation to their own.

I’m not suggesting that you change how many products you offer.

I’m suggesting you talk differently about your products to start conversations that will lead to more sales.

Mistake #3: Formal vs. Conversational

There are two kinds of Elevator Pitches.

There’s the kind when you stand up and introduce yourself to a room full of people.

And there’s the kind where someone walks up, shakes your hand, and asks “What do you do.”

To introduce yourself to many people, use the 30-Second Elevator Pitch.

When someone shakes your hand and asks “What do you do,” answer with 7-10 words that get them to respond.

Once again: answer with 7-10 words that get them to respond.

Once they respond, you are in a conversation.

It’s much more engaging.

It’s much more natural.

Remember that the goal of the Elevator Pitch is to start conversations.

What other mistakes have you seen people make while networking?

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