Networking is not an art form impossible to learn. It has basic principles that are covered by people who understand it far better than I do. At some point, please read them. Or don’t. Here is my quick guide to networking “popcopy” style. Whenever you find your self at conference, event, show, etc. follow these basic principles for a surefire way to not do business or burn a bridge. Remember, your network is important.
1. Ask questions. But instead of listening to my answer, wait until I finish (or better yet – interrupt me) and tell me your answer to that question.
2. Shake my hand like a 7 year-old while you’re looking over my shoulder.
3. Give me one of your self-made, crookedly cut business cards.
4. Immediately tell me what you/or your company do(es). Even when you absolutely know there is no way we would ever do business.
5. Lie to me. Assume that I’m pretty much an idiot and that I was born three days ago. This is obviously my first attempt at a business. So please by all means lie to me about your business and how much you know about “X”.
6. Stand really close to me. I love speaking intimately to people I’ve just met.
7. Want to know a great way to my attention? Comment loudly during presentations as if we’re at a open mic night at your local comedy store. Heckling at professional events is always classy.
8. Ask me how much money I’m making. Other possible topics to discuss with me during such events: religion, politics, sexual orientation, age, weight, ethnicity, et, al.
9. During a five minute conversation ask the same question two to three times then wait for my answer (or don’t) but don’t listen. Nothing makes me feel more important when you ask the same questions over and over again.
10. Ask me what I’m doing “at an event like this” with scrunched up face. Our conversation lacks irony and self loathing anyway.
11. Continue talking to me even when there is a line of people waiting patiently and please continue talking to me especially when I’m ready to leave.
12. When you find out what it is that I do and you see no possible business relationship in our future, walk away in the middle of a conversation.
13. Have a smug smirk on your face when other people are talking. Your intelligence must be superior and this is how you nonchalantly display your fast array of knowledge.
14. Tell me you would like my help and ask for my business card. It is important that you seem really interested when doing so. Proceed to never contact me.
15. When someone introduces you to me, seem really disinterested because I’m either younger than you or presume we would never work together. Don’t even look at me while you’re being introduced… until you find out what it is that I do. When you do realize that your business could be of use to me then follow 1 – 14.
For more etiquette rules watch this video and good luck networking.