Networking: Know It Alls and Name Droppers


Sales ManI attend a lot of networking and social media events. I’m always amazed at how much people like to talk about themselves and their complete lack of interest of everyone else in the room.

I go to networking events to meet people, to learn new things and to build relationships.

I don’t go to networking events to be cornered by one person telling me how fabulous and successful they are, what an expert in Social Media they are or how they are one of the “early adopters” of Social Media. I also don’t go to hear the same person start dropping names of people I have never heard of.

Name dropping with an attitude is a big pet peeve of mine. I find it irritating, not impressive. Here is a recent conversation I had:

Annoying Person at Networking Event (APNE):  I was at a party with John Smith the other day and we were talking about blah, blah, blah and wait… you do know who John Smith is right?

Me: No, the name sounds familiar but I don’t know who he is. Please tell me.


Me: No, I don’t know who he is. Are you going to tell me who he is and finish your story or do you want to continue focusing on how ignorant you think I am?

Note to self: never do business with this person, he makes me feel like poop.

Some Suggestions for Successful Networking (a.k.a. common courtesy)

  1. It’s not all about you – periodically check in with yourself and remember the acronym WAIT: Why Am I Talking (I learned that in coaching school and have a little sticky note on my desk that says WAIT – I look at this when I’m on the phone.)
  2. Make it about the other person, ask open ended questions and listen to what they have to say.
  3. Make someone feel special and unique instead of trying to show how special and unique you are.


These tips work for in person networking as well as online networking.

Do you have any interesting networking stories or tips to share?

4 thoughts on “Networking: Know It Alls and Name Droppers

  1. Becki Noles

    Awesome post Sally. The W.A.I.T. acronym is great and one that I will definitely use. I am adverse to networking events to begin with, but if I met Mr. APNE I hope I would be able to come up with a comical retort and walk away.

  2. Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT

    LOVE this Sally. Nothing reeks more of narcissism than someone who feels the need to blab on about “me, me, me.” What a turn-off. I love networking and meeting people who are genuinely interested in me as well – and there’s a real reciprocity. Not someone who has an agenda to try to one-up me out of their own insecurity.

    No thanks.

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