10 Networking Tips (if you want to make a bad impression)

Personal branding networking making right impressionAs they say about the best laid plans of mice and men…after ‘advertising’ a guest blog in my last post, circumstances have conspired to delay that.  However, I thought a bit of light relief for anyone who’s due to attend a networking event would more than make up for it.

So here’s my 10 Networking Tips – if you want to make a bad impression of your personal brand that is!  All of these I have had the unfortunate pleasure to have experienced!

Bad Impression Tip #1    
Shake hands limply using only the ends of your fingers, not your whole hand, as if you’re offering someone a dead fish.

Bad Impression Tip #2   
Make sure your hand is good and sweaty so the dead fish feels like it’s still wet.

Bad Impression Tip #3    
Alternatively, if you want to convey how important you are, crushing a person’s hand as you shake it sends the right message.

Bad Impression Tip #4   
If you’re a man meeting to a woman, especially for the first time, use your handshake as an opportunity to pull her in for a kiss (this is particularly effective if it’s sloppy enough to leave saliva on her cheek).

Bad Impression Tip #5    
Look over the person’s shoulder as they’re talking – it helps them understand how lucky they are to be speaking to someone as important as you.

Bad Impression Tip #6    
Stand really close to people to take up as much of their personal space as possible.

Bad Impression Tip #7    
Make sure you’ve smoked at least two packs of cigarettes and drunk 15 cups of coffee so your breath has that distinctive odour.

Bad Impression Tip #8    
Shorten the person’s name even though they introduced themselves with the full version eg “Hi, I’m Jennifer.”  “Nice to meet you Jenny.”

Bad Impression Tip #9    
Do all the talking – people really want to hear how fantastic you are, how much money you’re making, what an expensive holiday you’re taking, etc.

Bad Impression Tip #10    
Remember that every person you meet is a potential customer so always, always, always go for the hard sell.


If you have your own networking ‘pet hates’ don’t be shy…leave a comment!  And please help me to spread the word using the buttons below.  Or if you’d like to learn more, check out my other blogs and follow me on Twitter.  Or drop me an email at jennifer.holloway@sparkexec.co.uk.  Thank you! 

Spark specialises in branding, but not for companies – for PEOPLE, helping clients to market themselves so they stand out from the crowd, building a reputation that enables them to be even more successful just by being themselves.   Spark delivers personal branding to executives and senior managers in Leeds, Harrogate, Skipton, York, Bradford, Wakefield and the Yorkshire area, as well as in London and other UK cities. The company was founded by Jennifer Holloway and her 15 years’ experience in PR coupled with several years as an executive coach means she delivers a personal brand service unlike any other. 


4 Responses to “10 Networking Tips (if you want to make a bad impression)”

  1. Great tips Jennifer! Most of which I have experienced personally. Adding on from your tip about shortening someone’s name, lengthening it or forgetting it altogether is a also a big NO. The other tip I could add to yours, is that if you’ve promised to sent some information, then DO it. And finally, be courteous, basic good manners, respond to a request or email or remember to thank someone if they have helped you or introduced you to someone etc.

    I’m sure etiquette in the Zambian bush will be a whole new story!

  2. I find that no. 10 is one people that people do a lot. They go in for the hard sell and bring out their business cards instead of taking the time to build up rapport and a relationship. It’s highly unlikely that anyone would buy from you at a first meeting and behaviour such as this usually puts people off and as you say leaves a ‘bad impression’.


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