Networking 101: Fix It Before You Even Get Started
Career Business Coffee Break

Networking 101: Fix It Before You Even Get Started

Salman Hossain
Salman Hossain

Networking TIP#1 (A mistake to avoid)

Over the last few months, I got asked the most to share tips for effective networking. I wanted to write about it earlier, but I decided to wait for a little on this. I tried to research within my network to identify common mistakes when hoping to eventually connect with someone far from having a meaningful relationship through networking.

Everyone is hustling more or less for a better life. So, when we reach out to someone for an ask, it's easy to get a little pushy and, at times, desperate. There's nothing wrong with being driven in life, but there's a difference between being persuasive and unprofessional.

One common mistake I noticed is the lack of professionalism and etiquette when connecting with someone for a personal agenda.

i.e., I got a message from someone who wants me to introduce him and his IT company to my valuable hard-earned connections (CEOs and all) for work. Despite being connected to me on Linkedin, he and I never talked, worked, or anything in our relationship. Without asking me basic courtesy questions of how I am doing or trying to be nice, he just copy-pasted a long 2+ minute message with his pitch deck, website address, and contact info.

Then, he saw that I read his message and didn't reply, so we messaged me again, asking in 2 lines if I can introduce him to some people (directly naming them from my contacts!).

I decided not to waste my time and didn't bother replying. Btw, the person I'm talking about is the CEO of an IT company!

Several months went by, and that message thread had no exchange as I ignored it. But to my utter surprise, I get yet again the same long 2+ minute message, with a new deck and asking for introductions.

Would you be comfortable introducing this person to someone you know who's valuable to you? Would you take responsibility for an unprofessional person by putting in words for them or their company?

So, get your communications strategy right before even starting to go all guns blazing as you start connecting with people hoping for a meaningful relationship for the long run.

Professionalism + Great Communication = Start of a Great Networking!

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