Too Polite Won't Work - This is Business Networking

Marilyn Barnicke Belleghem

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Following social rules for politeness does not get us what we want in business. Hand in hand with rules for polite communication, must be the rules for when to change those rules to suit the situation. Business manners are different than social behaviours.

Waiting until someone asks us about what we do, rather than proudly talking about what we do to make our living, might be polite, but when we attend a networking function, we want to build a network of people with whom we can do business. Too polite is unproductive. Confidently telling others what we do, how well we do it and what we want to grow our business is more likely to bring the business we desire.

When Networking:

Come prepared with business cards, flyers, brochures etc.
Know what makes a great referral to you and tell others.
Speak about your skills and successes.
Ask for the type of business referrals you want.
Use “I want…” messages.
Move about the room.
Do not chat with the people from your own company.
Offer your business card and promotional material.
Be prepared to talk about your fees and charges.
Leave your fear of rejection at home.

I joined the Chamber of Commerce to assist me in my business networking. Chamber referrals have been a major contributor to my business success. I use Chamber member’s services for my needs and provide service to members and their associates, friends and families. Everyone knows someone who knows someone who needs our services.

Marilyn Barnicke Belleghem M. Ed. , is a registered marriage and family therapist with a private practice in Burlington Ontario Canada and author of books on personal growth through travel. Questing Marilyn: In Search of My Holy Grail (Quest Publishing Canada 2003) takes the reader through sacred and historic sites in England and Ireland and involves the search for the authentic adult Self. It explores: “Who can I be when I am free to be my Self?" Questing France: Deepening the Search for My Holy Grail (2005) is the process of holding onto the Self when in a marriage relationship. It explores flirtations, infidelity, qualities of a functional marriage as well as parenting children through marital conflict. Questing France explores the questions: “Can I be me when I am with you?" and “Why do people stay in a marriage after an affair?"


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