We've all stepped in it at one point or another. C'mon, don't shake your head no. I know you've done it too.
Many of us consider ourselves to be fantastic networkers yet have made a networking blunder and lived to tell the tale.
I know that I have and I'm here to share my embarrassments in the hopes that you'll steer clear of these all-too-common networking faux pas:
Lost the introduction
I don't know about you but I get hundreds of emails per day and although I am pretty good at sorting through them once in awhile an email will fall through the cracks.
And how embarrassing is it when that particular email was a personal introduction made by a great contact.
The best way to avoid this occurrence from happening is to flag the email and/or respond to it immediately BEFORE there is a chance for it to get buried under the mounds of emails that come in through out the day.
Forgot the appointment
Our calendars are filled from morning to night and the chance for a meeting to get lost in the shuffle (aka "forgotten") is certainly a possibility. There's nothing more uncomfortable than getting a call or text from someone that is sitting and waiting for you at a Starbucks or restaurant and asking you when you'll get there and you know there's no possibility that you'll be able to do so, at least on that day. There's really nothing for you to say because excuses only make it worse.
Apologize sincerely and make up for the missed appointment by taking this person to breakfast or lunch.
Promised to make an introduction but didn't
No one wants to earn the reputation of "networking deadbeat" however if you promise that you are going to make an introduction and don't follow-through then that is exactly the type of reputation that you will soon have.
Be hyper vigilant about making the introductions that you promised. Record a note, send yourself a text or a reminder or do whatever it takes to make certain that your introduction doesn't "fall through the cracks."
The best advice is to treat your networking contacts the same way you treat your clients. Pay attention to your networking relationships and avoid these all too common networking faux pas. Who knows - you might even get a better return on your networking time.