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9 Reasons Why Your Networking Is Not Working

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

What’s your perception of networking?

Do you see it as a waste of time? Maybe it doesn’t work for your business?

Are you sick and tired of wasting your evenings, lunch times not to mention crazy early mornings for little to no reward?

I hear you. Lots of people feel have said that to me.

Heck I’ve even said it myself!

It felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall because I certainly wasn’t getting any pleasure from it.

Quite the opposite in fact. It was way outside my comfort zone walking into a crowded room of strangers.

Sometimes I didn’t even want to get out of the car when I saw all the men in suits walking in.

What was I doing here?? I didn’t belong.

It took me many years to realise I was doing networking all wrong. I was attending the wrong groups at the wrong time with the wrong people and giving the wrong message.

In 2018 I took the drastic action to STOP networking. I took a break for 6 months. Stepped back, looked at my business plan and where I really needed to put effort into business development.

I looked at why networking wasn’t working for me and what needed to be different.

So here are my 9 lessons I learned and reasons why networking may not be working for you:

  1. You’re too uptight! For years I would get stressed going to networking meetings because I didn’t feel like I fitted in. The main reason was I wasn’t being myself. Once I relaxed and started to open up people warmed to me much more.

  2. You’re trying too hard. Don’t expect to get results right away. Take time to get to know people on a personal level and you’ll form a deeper connection. They might not be a potential customer but they might become part of your cheerleading team!

  3. You don’t have a clear purpose - who are you looking to meet? What are you looking to achieve? Setting some clear goals will help you decide which groups to join and where to put your efforts.

  4. You’re not being consistent - you attend an event once, don’t get any sales and think it hasn’t worked. That’s not networking. Choose one or two groups and keep going so people get to know they can trust you.

  5. You only speak to people you know so you’re not expanding your network. It’s tempting to stick within your comfort zone but speaking to people you don’t know will challenge you and help you to grow. Who knows they may be your next big customer!

  6. You get nervous speaking about your business so you rush it, apologise and play it down. The result is no one is going to feel confident in you. Slow down, take it easy. Networking is a great place to practice public speaking. If you find the right group where you feel comfortable you can build up your confidence (or find a coach for support!)

  7. You turn up late and leave early. You need to put in more effort. Be the first person in the room, talk to the organiser and tell them who you are looking to meet so they can introduce you.

  8. You don’t have a clear message. Think of 3 key ways that you help people and be really specific in your 60 second pitch. If you can share a testimonial even better.

  9. You aren’t asking for business. Sometimes it’s as simple as that. Do you have a clear Call To Action in your pitch? Prepare a few and try a different one each time to see how people respond.

Can you recognise some of these mistakes? What will you do differently at your next networking meeting as a result of reading this?

If you’d like help with your networking strategy book a Bold Breakthrough call with me and let’s talk it through.


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