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Top Mistakes Business Owners Make When Networking

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on April 20, 2010

Business owners and sales professionals understand the importance and value of business referrals. The problem is that few understand how to get consistent, qualified referrals. If you are attempting to network at many venues but find very little results, it might be because you’re making one or more of these critical mistakes:

Selling vs. networking. Often business owners go to an event to "network" and end up making the mistake of selling. They walk in with the mindset of a hunter instead of a farmer. Networking is about cultivating business relationships, not gaining customers. If business owners walk into a networking event thinking "look at all of these potential customers," they’ll never receive referrals.

Not giving back. Our society has become very good at asking: "What’s in it for me?" Most networkers look for others to pass them referrals, but successful networkers are always looking to help others first.

They don’t do it. The No. 1 way networking will not work for you as a business owners is if you don’t show up. You need to be visible and credible in order to be profitable in networking your business.

Tim Roberts
Executive Director
New Hampshire, Maine, and Western Massachusetts chapters

Reader Comments

Nancy McLean

April 20, 2010 1:13 PM

Hello Mr. Roberts. I work for a company called ForeSite. We are located in East Hartford, CT and we are an IT company. I was wondering if we would be able to contribute to your blog using content we already write in our blog, which you can visit at Please let me know if that is something that you are open to. Thank you, Nancy

Steve Labbe

April 27, 2010 9:05 AM

If people would think of giving back as a gift to the universe without putting expectations on the individuals they are serving you would have a winning formula. All to often we look at who we are serving as the one who should be giving in return. Next time you serve just do so holding the thought that you are serving the universe and the universe will give back to you. All you need to do is trust you won't believe what will open up for you. Steve:)

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