Serial Takers: Avoid Networking With These People At All Costs!

Anyone in a small business can closely relate to the following quote once famously uttered by Willy Wonka that went like this…

So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. Thank you.

The truth of the matter is that in addition to all of the daily jobs we do simply running a business, we are also tasked with growing the business as well!

And growing any business will definitely involve networking with other professionals who may or may not personally be in a position to help us directly or, for that matter, we them.

The fact is, however, that it’s very likely we have a minimum of one member of our personal network we can refer them to and visa versa.

When operating correctly, successful networking takes place when like-minded people go out of their way to help others!

Unfortunately, as many of us know only too well, there are times when networking is not operating the way that it should.

This tends to occur when one party is primarily a ‘taker’ while giving little if any thought to being a ‘giver’!

As in any relationship, one-sided is not often a recipe for either success or longevity.

Who to avoid when networking!

From one of the icons of networking, Dr. Ivan Misner, these are some of the attributes of people out in the networking world who you may want to try and avoid.

How do you know they possess these attributes? Unfortunately, it is often only by trial and error.

In generating referrals for your business, you are going to want to spend less time with frogs and more time with princes and princesses − and at the same time, make sure that YOU aren’t a “networking frog,” either!

How do you become networking royalty and find other like-minded referral partners, avoiding the amphibians out there? Let me give you some tell-tale signs that you might be kissing a networking frog:

    • This person is always asking you for referrals, introductions, and favors but rarely reciprocates.
    • This person doesn’t seem to have the time to sit down and really learn about your business, goals, and ideal customers.
    • When you schedule face-to-face meetings, this person often reschedules the night before or the day of your appointment.
    • This person takes forever to return your phone calls and emails, if at all.
    • This person rarely goes out of his way to help you, and seems inconvenienced when complying with your request for assistance making a connection.
    • This person often makes you feel like you’re just okay to be around, and may not be quite “big enough” for strong collaboration.
    • This person talks excessively about herself and her business.  She rarely asks you questions.  If she does ask, she really doesn’t listen to your answers.
    • When you do get around to sharing something about your business, he quickly turns your comment into a chance to move the spotlight back on himself.
    • At networking events, this person is hunting for new prospects, shaking hands, and passing out as many business cards as humanly possible, moving quickly from person to person.
    • When you exchange business cards with this person, he doesn’t even glance at your card, never makes a written note on the back, and quickly tucks it away in a pocket.
    • While you are with this person, she is always looking around to see who else she can be meeting, rather than focusing her attention on you with continued eye contact.
    • You always feel a little slimy after an encounter with a networking frog.

How can you be sure that you are a networking prince or princess and not a frog? The simple answer is to do the opposite of what the networking frog does!


Michael Haltman, President of Hallmark Abstract Service, New York.

HAS is a provider of title insurance in New York State for residential and commercial real estate transactions.

And, for anyone either buying a property or refinancing, remember that although your attorney will likely recommend a title insurance provider you always have the right to choose your own (click here to learn more)!

If you have any questions you can reach Michael by email at

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