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Networking fails - mistakes to avoid 

Meet and greets, corporate catch ups and professional networking are all essential elements of building your circle of contacts in the workplace and climbing the corporate ladder. Done well, networking can be tremendously beneficial with research suggesting 80% of jobs and promotions are not advertised formally but are offered to individuals who have a positive reputation within the organisation.

On the other hand, poor networking skills can be counterproductive and can be detrimental to your career and professional aspirations. If you're looking to get ahead in your office or professional circles, here are some networking mistakes to avoid in the workplace:

Avoid the sales talk

Negative networking experiences can derive from an initial introduction that is packed with a sales spiel. Focus on the person you are speaking with and aim to connect professionally with them and avoid the sales pitch at all cost.

Be personal

While a lot of people use LinkedIn to connect, try to avoid connecting with people who you've never spoken with or met. Boosting your connections on LinkedIn is one thing, but connecting without any personal note of introduction is just poor manners.

Show your gratitude

Networking shouldn't be one sided, rather than being left out in the cold make sure you give as much as you receive in networking situations. If someone does provide a lead for you from a networking opportunity, be sure to thank them personally and show gratitude. Remember the old saying, what goes around comes around.

Keep eye contact

There is nothing more off-putting at networking events than a colleague who is looking over your shoulder waiting for someone better to come along to engage with. Take the time to engage properly with the person you are speaking with and create a successful networking experience that they will remember.

Follow-up

Once you have met a new colleague or networking contact, don't leave the connection to cool and fizzle out. Connect with the individual soon after your networking event so that the discussion is fresh in their mind. Usually, a phone call the day after the event is a great way to remain fresh in a new connections memory.

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