Networking: “Place your Cell Phone on Silent”
“Ladies and Gentlemen, please place your electronic devices in silent mode during the meeting today.”
Is it acceptable to make a phone call; send or receive text; or read your email while meeting with a prospect or client? The answer is NO!
I would venture to say that none of us would ever think about doing this in front of a client or prospect. Yet week after week many of my fellow members of my networking group engage in some form of cell phone usage during our meeting.
Why, then, has it become acceptable to text and read email it at networking events?
In reality, this is not an acceptable business etiquette at all. It is just plain rude, disrespectful and very unprofessional.
Think about this for a moment:
- People make decisions about us, as professionals, based upon how you show up and act.
- Your networking partners are the ones who are in a position to refer you to others.
- My time is just as valuable as yours.
- When you text or read mail during a meeting, you are saying to those around you that they are not important enough to deserve your undivided attention.
We must, therefore, respect our fellow networkers just as if we are sitting in front of our clients or prospects. After all, our networking partners are the very ones who will recommend you to their client base.
Consequently, the exact same rules and protocol of acting and being professional must be adhered to no matter what type meeting you are attending.
At your next event, go prepared to do business, looking and acting the part of a professional and turn off the cell phone!
Engage and listen otherwise you might miss an opportunity to make a connection.
Peggy P. Edge (c) 2015