You’re Doing It All Wrong! – Best Practices for Career & Business Networking


When we imagine successful networking outcomes… it’s often like ‘sugar plums dancing’ in our head. Happy, joyful, carefree and sweet. But, the reality is often closer to dried up or rejected raisins, which seem a little bitter –that no one desires.

 Why does Networking FAIL?

3 basic reasons (though, there are many that follow):
– MeMeMe or MeMyself & I

We all have the desire to ‘get what we want’, but effective networking is not about you (it always has to be about the other person 1st).

Selfishness is the primary reason networking fails (our selfishness). But, a secondary reason our networking typically fails is from our own insecurity & lack of confidence.

We fail to plan for Networking (& therefor ‘plan to fail’). Not having a roadmap & goal for the networking event you attend will derail effectiveness.

As will a lack of interest and engagement with others, & not having our questions ready.

Some additional items that prevent networking success:

– Going after your take-away in the networking process, before you give to someone.

My advice: Look to give freely / how you can help others (while educating them on ‘Why you are ‘Interesting & Memorable’”).

Giving freely without a ‘transactional expectation’ is a process of continually opening doors. Amazing things happen when you start to continually open doors.

– Not having your story, your Elevator Pitch ‘down’. I call the elevator pitch the ‘Best 25 Seconds of your Life!’

Surely, you can come up with why you are “Interesting & Memorable and fit it into 25 seconds (we’re really not interested in your Life Story, or the sad story).

– Stop Singing These Sad Songs 

Yes, it’s tough out there. We may even be desperate, maybe we’re under tremendous financial strain. Welcome to part of being a modern human being, unfortunately. But the sad songs in your story are not interesting, and don’t motivate people to help you –they push people that could help away.

So, get over yourself, your situation & get on to better, effective networking.

Let’s Get Ready To Network

It’s about interacting with other people to provide help and connections. That’s not just a two-way street, it’s a street that goes in all directions.

Networking Etiquette for Success:

In preparation, think about the steps to become prepared, & the Do’s & Don’ts of Networking.

1. Present Well, it’s your chance to create that 1st impression! It determines your value in others’ minds.

2. Everyone Knows Someone (everyone can help & connect you to someone valuable). Don’t make the mistake of pre-judging someone’s value to you.

3. Help / Connect the other Person (whenever you can)

4. Ask… Questions for information / insights on the industry, companies & players.

5. Be Genuine. Nothing replaces this & you can’t fake it. Be a real human being (but, let’s hide the weaknesses by preparing!!)

6. Remember Names. Yes, this is my worst one. I meet many, many folks as a public speaker, so maybe I may have a little excuse I can use there… but use mental association tricks (mental ‘pegs’) to try and capture, then use their name in your conversation.

7. Everyone should be part of your network.

8. If you are awake & with others… you should be Networking.

The Do’s

– Have a PLAN & GOAL

– Get Past Yourself / Give your undivided attention

– LISTEN, converse & interact / SHOW INTEREST in others’ situations & story / Ask Questions

– Find out why the PERSON is ‘interesting & memorable

– Find out what they NEED / how you could HELP


– Get their BUSINESS CARD & write a detail or two on the back, so you can send an engaging email message afterward.

– GIVE before you Take

– Have your Story / Elevator Pitch ready, so they leave the conversation remembering why you are interesting, memorable and how they could help.

The Don’ts

– Don’t Monopolize the Conversation
(always make it about them 1st, before it’s about you)

– Watch the Body Language –it can say, “I’m not really interested”

– It’s not about You (in successful Networking)

What’s Left?

If you are at a Networking Event.. don’t forget to keep moving.
“Oh, I see someone I need to say hello to. –It was very nice to meet you.”

And, never forget: Why do people hire & Why do people Buy:

It’s Chemistry & Confidence
Employers / Buyers want People who Believe in Themselves

Let’s Get Networking!

John Crant
Author, Career Coach & Speaker
on Job Search and Career Management

Copyright © 2014-2015 by John Crant

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As seen and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, on, on CareerBuilder’s, on The Ladders, in The New York Post, The Huffington Post, in Essence magazine, in CRAIN’S New York Business, on, in amNY, and on CNN, BBC, FOX News, Arise TV – John shares the answers and the concrete steps for success in Job Search.

John is a Featured Speaker at The New York Public Library’s JOB SEARCH CENTRAL, as well as at the YMCA in New York City, and is a Social Media expert for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program.

He speaks at Corporate Events, works with Workforce Development organizations, and teaches both students and alumni with this Self-Recruiter® Series for Colleges and Universities.

My Book:
Changing the Rules: How to Be Your Own Recruiter &
Ride the Economic Crisis to Your Next Career Challenge.
Copyright © 2009 by John Crant

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