Networking Got You Spooked?


Have you seen this Ghost at your networking event?

Are you haunted by the thought of running into one of these characters at your next networking event? Here are the warning signs and tools to slay those situations.

The Vampire: Charms all the contacts and advice right out of you – for free – providing no reciprocation.

Slayer: No pointy stick needed. Instead, try this phrase, “Vlad, it’s a real pleasure meeting you. Would love to schedule a call to discuss what you’re looking for and how we can work together. Right now, I’ve got x time and x time open for a phone call. Which works best for you?”

The Zombie: This person doesn’t eat brains, but sure wants to pick your brain. For free. “C’mon. Let’s go for coffee,” they say. And they keep coming back for more free advice. In the meantime, you haven’t earned a dime.

Slayer: Neutralize the brain-picking requests with this killer phrasing, “Zena, thanks so much for your request. I’d love to work with you. Let’s schedule time to discuss your situation over the phone. That saves us both driving time and we can maximize our time on the call. At the end of our call, I’ll recommend some of my services, which could help you turn around that situation fast. Here’s what’s available. What time/date works best for you?” Or “Thanks for asking, I’ve got a great blog post on that. What’s your email, I’ll send you the link.”

The Werewolf: His hair is perfect. You have a nice conversation. You exchange business cards. The next day, you find you’re subscribed to his newsletter and you’ve received several sales pitches from him via all your social media accounts.

Slayer: Your silver bullet: Unsubscribe. And, block, if necessary. Sure, you can try to educate Wolfy on proper social media etiquette, but chances are this Werewolf has bitten before and likely won’t change.

The Mummy: This person is wrapped up in themselves. And their department. They don’t want to share information for fear they’ll be exposed and lose their job or client or whatever else they deem most valuable. (Maybe it’s a red Swingline stapler.)

Slayer: You understand. You can build trust by reassuring Mummy that sharing a little piece of advice won’t jeopardize their career. Instead, it may enhance it because they’ll have a new ally in another department. They can build on this connection, create cross-functional inroads, and get their job done faster. And you benefit because you’ve got a fresh set of eyes on your work situation from an expert with a long history at the organization.

The Ghost: You were having a great conversation. You turn around and poof. They’ve vanished. No exit conversation. No, “let’s get a call on the calendar.” And no contact info. They’ve simply vanished. “Who was that person? Why did they leave? What did I do?” you ask yourself.

Slayer: It might not be about you. It may be the Ghost’s typical behavior because they hate networking events. If, however it is you, examine the conversation. Might you have accidentally shown a few symptoms from the Mummy, Werewolf, Zombie or Vampire? If so, work on improving your networking prowess. Focus on building the business relationship and friendship first, before making an ask. Think about ways you can help your network, whether it’s making a personal introduction to another in your network or sending a helpful link or resource. That way your network will thrive. And you’re less likely to run into these characters or accidentally turn into one of them yourself in the future. I know you’ll slay it at your next event. Drop me a comment and share your networking story.

© 2017 | Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.

Wendy Terwelp is an award-winning career expert and personal branding strategist who works with leaders, directors, and high potentials to propel their careers and be rock stars at work. Her private coaching clients win promotions, salary raises, and gigs. A sought-after speaker, Wendy works with organizations who want to smash silos, increase employee engagement, and eliminate people headaches. Book her for your next event: