How to “Bore People” and “Stay Anonymous” at a networking event

ImageI ran across this seriously sad scenario that happens at every event I host. There is some great humor in this and I hope it makes you think about next weeks networking event before you screw it up.

The Twelve Steps to becoming an Anonymous Entrepreneur

1. Wear grey! If grey is not available, curtain beige or sofa brown plaid will do.

2. Tell them that your business “specializes in promoting facilitation of soft skills development and incorporation of logistical solution systems in a pro-active communications environment…”

3. Make sure they get the full 60-second shpiel. If they interrupt you, start again at the beginning. You’ve crafted your infomercial; don’t let them throw you off by asking questions.

4. Tell them that you have 25 years experience doing what you said in point #2 above, and repeat it, just in case they didn’t get it all the first time.

5. Tell them you also do HR outsourcing on the side.

6. Don’t ask about them. They’re interested in you! Well, they asked, didn’t they? This is your chance to impress!

7. Hand them a two to three page photocopied pamphlet about your business in case they want to go straight home and read more about your “facilitation of soft skills development and incorporation of logistical solutions in a proactive communications environment,” and give them a couple of extra pamphlets in case they want to give some to their friends and neighbors.

8. Don’t tell them about the time you went skydiving in the Himalayas to rescue baby llamas or that you got a Line Dancing scholarship to the University of Texas because this is business. They are much more interested in hearing about ALL the features and benefits of your doodad.

9. Avoid talking to anyone who does what you do. No sense wasting time on the competition. What if they try to copy some of your techniques or worse, hit on some of your prospective customers? Hopefully they’ll never show up again anyway. Giving them the squinty eye will seal the deal.

10. Make sure your cell phone is on a string around your neck so you don’t miss any important calls and, besides, you want to show these guys you are a busy professional. Juggling a few clipboards and briefcases helps as well.

11. Avoid smiling, business is serious, and make sure your suit looks exactly like everyone else’s.

12. Did I mention that you should wear grey or sofa beige (a slightly different shade than curtain beige)? Some points can’t be stressed enough!!


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