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Networking "Red Flags:" What to Watch Out for in Business Relationships

I recently shared a blog post about "the power of networking" - sharing the value of networking and how to get started.

Networking can be a powerful tool for personal and professional growth, but it is important to be aware of both the positive and negative sides of networking to ensure that it is done in a productive and authentic way.

In light of that - today I'd like to share some "red flags" and other things to be aware of...

Some of these behaviors, when exhibited by others, may be warning signs that something is amiss. Of course, when you are out networking these are also behaviors you'll want to avoid exhibiting.

Here are the 5 most common "Red Flags" when business networking:

  1. Lack of follow-through: One of the most significant red flags in business networking is a lack of follow-through. This can take many forms, such as not responding to emails, failing to show up for meetings, or not following up on promises. If someone repeatedly fails to follow through on commitments, it could be a sign of unreliability and lack of professionalism.

  2. Pressure to make a purchase: Genuine networking should be based on building relationships and creating mutual benefit, not on pushing products or services. If someone is overly aggressive or pushy in their attempts to sell, it could be a sign of insincerity and a lack of interest in creating a lasting relationship.

  3. Overpromising and underdelivering: If someone makes unrealistic promises about what they can offer or achieve but fails to deliver on those promises, it could be a sign of dishonesty and lack of integrity. It is essential to be cautious of those who make grandiose claims without the ability to back them up.

  4. Lack of professionalism: Business networking should always be conducted in a professional manner. If someone behaves inappropriately or unprofessionally, such as using offensive language or behaving in a rude or disrespectful manner, it could be a sign that they are not a good fit for your professional network.Genuine networking requires consistent and reliable communication.

  5. Demanding payment for networking services: If someone asks for payment in exchange for networking services, it could be a sign of a scam or unethical behavior. Genuine networking should be based on mutual benefit and not require payment.

As a professional, your network and referrals are some of your most valuable assets. They can open doors to new opportunities, help you build your reputation, and ultimately lead to success in your career. However, it's important to guard your network and referrals to ensure that they are beneficial to both you and your contacts.

By being selective about who you refer, setting boundaries, following up, being respectful of your contacts' time, and protecting your network, you can ensure that your network and referrals are beneficial to both you and your contacts.

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