How to lose business
and alienate people
when networking online
Love it or hate it, online networking is here to stay. But as we pass into year two of online networking, it’s good to reflect on good and bad experiences to ensure that we continue to get the best from it.
I don’t know about you, but overall, I’ve enjoyed it. It’s given me an opportunity to network with people that previously I may not have met. And with no geographical borders to negotiate, or the inconvenience of travelling time, there’s more incentive to catch up virtually with different groups of people all from the comfort of your own home.
When on camera you should refrain from displaying negative body language (facial leakage is the phrase)….
But with greater choice, comes greater responsibility. I find it more important than ever to be mindful of basic networking etiquette. And just because you are not face-to-face with fellow business owners, there is no excuse to behave badly, rudely, or selfishly.
We’ve all been subjected to someone talking at us and not giving us an opportunity to respond. And there have been those moments where people talk over others because of either an internet delay, or they felt the need to fill the silence. But I was chatting to a colleague recently who had been networking online in a small group when someone had invited themselves into the group, interrupted their conversation, talked at them, sold his services then disappeared.
Etiquette for online networking
Of course, this is clearly not acceptable behaviour. But it got me thinking. Are there some basic rules of online networking that we should be adhering to, so we can continue to ensure the best experience for everyone?
Here are some of my thoughts:
I think all in all it pays to act as though you were in the room. You wouldn’t do any of these things in a ‘physical’ meeting, and if you did need to pop out when someone was talking, you’d (hopefully) politely make your excuses beforehand.
To me, being online is no different to being in a meeting room. Etiquette still matters, perhaps even more so when the focus on the screen is on your face and everyone can see you, your reactions and of course any distractions.
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