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Networking 101 – Keep Your Focus

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Craig Harrison says that the reason that Networking may not be working for you is because of the basic 9 mistakes that Networker’s make. I will be going through these over the next few weeks and let’s see if this is what is holding you back.

The fifth mistake he says is “Unfocused conversation. Networking is a chance to demonstrate focus, drive and confidence. Aimless rambling is pointless and suggests you’re not a focused professional. Showcase your communication skills by expressing yourself succinctly and ask precise questions.”

This is also one of my greatest pet hates! The only way that I can describe this to you is by telling you an actual story.

There is a young chap, let’s call him John, who faithfully comes to as many meetings as he possibly can. He is passionate about what he does, he is passionate about networking meetings and he really does see the value in them. What can possibly be the problem, you may ask – well it’s like this – I have no idea what it is that he does!

I have been seeing him at networking functions now for the better part of almost two years, he is still doing the same thing (I think – there is no way to tell) and I still have no idea about what he does. I have tried meeting him on a one on one so that he can explain it to me in greater detail and I was more confused than ever!

You see, when he gets up to tell his story, it changes all the time and it hops about. It is so bad that I am not even sure if it is a product or a service and I am not alone in this, as everyone that I have spoken to is as confused as I am!

Sadder than that even, is the fact that he knows that I do not understand what he does and instead of trying to assist me to “get the point” he is amused by my confusion. So amused, in fact, that his latest introduction of himself, starts off by him telling everyone that he will try and keep it short so that they will not be as confused as what I am. How bizarre!

Perhaps a good way to deal with this is to set down points of what it is that you are trying to sell (product or service – let’s get that right from the beginning) and from there what the advantages are and the value adds.

Confusing the very people you need to assist you with contacts and referrals is just is not the way to go about things. People need to understand what it is that you do in order to hook you up with the right people.