Some words on networking etiquette

Last weeks I was invited to some network events.

Some people whom I met are really good networkers (always happy to learn something from them ;-)), but others have some difficulties especially with what’s called “the networking etiquette”.

I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word “etiquette” it reminds me of some very stiff and/or royal occasions. And though that may be a great network for you, I mean something else when I talk about “etiquette”. It is more about tips concerning how to behave than strict rules. Networking has to be fun !

So today some tips about networking etiquette:

  • Most importantly is that you behave so that others feel respected and honoured. But do this in a normal way. No ass-kissing allowed 😉
  • There is a time to network and a time to go more into the details of any subject. On most occasions where you have the opportunity to network, lots of people are present. You and all other people are there to meet new people and to maintain existing relationships. However this is not going to happen when you stay with the same person all the time. If you really have a great conversation, make an appointment in your agendas to elaborate on the subject another time.
  • Respect the time! Your time as well as the time of others. Maybe you are OK to only talk with 3 people on an event, but do these 3 people feel the same way? Chances are that they are there to meet many others as well. Also respect the time you reserved for other people like your family, colleagues, customers, …
  • Networking is NOT selling. Networking is about establishing and maintaining relationships, about truly listening to others. A sale could be a consequence. It should never be a goal! Viewing others as a bag of euro/dollar coins is not very respectful and hence not good networking etiquette !

Success at your next event !



One Response to Some words on networking etiquette

  1. No Fo Pa says:

    Happy to see this. It’s a horrible position to be in when you feel someone just wants to see what they can get from you. If they have no use for you then you are just a waste if their time and they move on to the next. You never know what will come from an encounter. More than just a business transaction… Could be a creative idea, inspiration, a new perspective, or an unlikey friendship.

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