Proper Networking Etiquette

Going to a networking event can be a great way to make contacts, form new ventures and meet like minded people… Then again, it can also be a fast way to never do business again. Modern Manners Guy has 3 tips to make sure you make a statement at your next networking event.

Richie Frieman
5-minute read
Episode #191

Tip #3 – Don’t Sell

The movie Glenngarry Glenn Ross introduced the mantra “ABC – Always Be Closing” into the vernacular of the mainstream business world back in 1992. It means that you should always be working on – and closing – a potential sale. And as much as I am all for doing that, it does involve a certain approach that if not done properly, can make you appear as the rudest person in the room. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve experienced this: I’m talking to someone casually, getting along, and they inevitably ask if I’m looking for life insurance or how my investing is going. That’s when I know that I’m being sold. It’s a trick that every industry uses: talk to someone, become their friend, then SELL, SELL, SELL! All within two minutes, mind you. That, my friends, is not the way you act a networking event.

Do you want to score a business lead or make a real contact? Of course! But do it properly, for heaven’s sake. If you tell me that you’re an investment banker, a financial planner, or even a mechanic, I know what you do. And if I am looking for that, you will probably get my business if you are just a normal person and not trying to force your brochure down my throat. It’s rude to press upon people what you can “do” for them. As well, it makes for a very uncomfortable event when you have to reject that person. Use a networking event as a chance to meet and mingle, and exchange business cards. Then, the next day email the person and sell your pitch…if you must.

Remember: “ABC” really means Always Be Considerate.

Do you have a great story about a networking event experience? Post all the details in Comments below. 

As always, if you have another manners question, I look forward to hearing from you at manners@quickanddirtytips.com. Check out my Modern Manners Guy Facebook page, follow me on Twitter @MannersQDT. And of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips.