The Unsavoury Behaviours of the Networking Cowboy

The first thing to know about when one is attending a business event is that networking is about building relationships.  Unavoidably, this takes time, and one cannot be impatient.

The first principle of building business relationships is about giving and having an abundance mentality. The true test of a good networker is not about “What is in it for me”. The modern way of communication is WII-FY meaning “What’s In It For You?” One should ask questions like “Can I introduce you to someone here?” or “How will I know if someone I’m talking to will be a good introduction for you?”

People tend to like and feel indebted when one gives to another, whether it is a referral, a useful piece of information or just ones full attention. This will only help build and strengthen the relationships.

How ‘not nice’ people behave!

When one thinks ‘cowboy’, the other will think ‘wild west’ and ‘Indians’. On the other hand, one may think of cowboys as unprofessional people, con people, people who do not listen and ‘salesmen’ in the very negative sense of the word.

When attending business-connected events, it is beneficial for one to adopt these behaviours:

  • Makes eye contact during the first meeting for example while shaking hands;
  • Gives a strong and secure handshake;
  • Greets in a friendly but remote manner;
  • Avoids getting friendly far too quickly such as telling inappropriate anecdotes or jokes;
  • Avoids lack of integrity such as dropping names to the wrong people at the wrong time;
  • Gets to know the recipient’s name or uses it correctly;
  • Talks without hijacking conversation
  • Be interested without too much effort;
  • Follows a potential opportunity properly and carefully;
  • Accepts and understands the word ‘no’.

Networking is building relationships and the above behavioural attitudes can lead a person to maximise the benefits from each and every networking case.

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