<img src="https://certify.alexametrics.com/atrk.gif?account=mZnsn1QolK1052" style="display:none" height="1" width="1" alt="">

Mind Your Manners and Avoid These Networking Derailers

Guest Blog - Paula Pope - Senior Consultant - The Frontier Group

As a Senior Career Consultant and career ministry volunteer, I often speak with clients and jobseekers about the value of networking. This past week I was contacted by three individuals seeking career advice who were asking for some of my valuable time. Words for the wise….if you ask for my time or that of any busy executive, mind your manners to avoid these networking pitfalls.

Be considerate and propose a time based on my schedule, not yours. I am doing you a favor by taking time out of my busy schedule to meet with you.  

Offer to meet at a location that is convenient for me, not conveniently located by your home or office. I should not be expected to take time away from my busy schedule to travel to meet you.

Suggest a location and take care of the arrangements. I shouldn’t be expected to select the coffee shop or restaurant and send you the directions.

Ask to exchange phone numbers in case an unexpected conflict arises. I do not plan to sit and wait for you if you are stuck in traffic.

Arrive prior to the meeting time and scout out an appropriate seating location. I can’t hear myself think next to the line at Starbucks and I don’t want to sweat in the 95 degrees as I may have a key business meeting later today.

Rise and greet me with a warm smile, firm handshake, and explain your purpose for the meeting. Express sincere appreciation for my time before the meeting begins.  I shouldn’t be expected to read your mind about what you need from the conversation.  Engage me in the conversation in the first few minutes so I will go the extra mile for you and possibly introduce you to additional connections.  

Buy the coffee, beverage or lunch or at least offer. You asked for my business intelligence which people pay for.

Be very specific and targeted with your questions and cognizant of time.  Do not answer personal calls, texts or look at your mobile device. Act interested…..I have given you my valuable time and advice.   

At the end of the conversation, express appreciation for my time and state how it has helped you. Ask if you can do anything in return for me. Offer to keep me updated on your job search progress.

Send me a personal thank you either by email or snail mail the day following.

Warning:  Cognitive scientists say it can take up to 200 times the amount of information to undo a first impression as it takes to make one. Who has that kind of spare time? Not you! Show up with the best version of you, every time. You never know who you are meeting.

P.S.  And please don’t ask for my time if you can’t mind your manners.   

Paula Pope - Senior Consultant - The Frontier Group works with mid to senior level career coaching clients helping them optimize their career marketing plans.