How to fail at networking, or, How a weak tie will never become a strong one!

This week’s blog is a story told me by a member of my network– it is a true story and I asked him to share it in his own words, as it probably will ring true to a lot of readers! It’s a great reminder to all of us to never forget that although taking someone’s advice is optional, good manners are mandatory.  

“A friend asked me to talk to Paul about opportunities in my field. Paul has an impressive resume  but he wants to move in a new direction. We met for lunch at a spot convenient to him. He told me what he has done, what he is up to,  and mentioned that he is enjoying a generous severance. I advised on firms that are hiring and shared information on several current and upcoming opportunities that might suit his qualifications and interests. 

“All in all, I gave him 2-1/2 hours including travel time, (lost income to me). Imagine my surprise when we split the check!! Were 2-1/2 hours not worth $25? We parted, without the words ‘thank you’ ever passing his lips. Later I followed up with info about another opportunity. He sent in his resume. Still didn’t hear those magic words. 

“Weeks pass. An email arrives: ‘Thanks for the intro. Can we talk NOW to prep me for an interview?’ Sorry, I was tied up all day. Really, I was tied up, but I wasn’t sorry.”

Patti here: Whenever someone gives you his time and expertise to help you, the small gesture of a verbal thank you is a networking (or as my mother would say, daily) minimum requirement. Picking up the tab falls into the same category! Failing to do so not only speaks volumes about the person, it also gives networking a “bad name.” He who invites, pays!


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