Networking Advice: Never Apologize

As you continue to attend networking events and attempt to spread the word about your business, you are sure to run into many unique situations. Along with this, you are going to make mistakes along the way.

Time and time again, I hear people (not just freelance writers) apologize as they “work a room” and talk to others about their business. This is something you should avoid at all costs.

Here are three common apologies to stay away from:

1. I am sorry, but I have to charge that much.

You may not think your rate schedule will come up when networking, but this happens quite often. You do not have to justify your prices through an apology.

Does your doctor apologize before he treats you? What about other professionals such as attorneys and accountants? Of course not. You have the right to set and control your prices. Be proud of what you charge.

2. I am sorry to bug you, but I just had to come over and say hello.

This is a difficult one. In some cases, you may need to interject with a quick “I am sorry” because you don’t want the other party to think you are barging in on their personal space. That being said, if you are at a formal networking event, such as one sponsored by a chamber of commerce, you don’t need to apologize when introducing yourself to others. Instead, act like you are supposed to be there. Be confident in yourself!

3. I am sorry, but I don’t have time to work with you right now.

Your first instinct will be to apologize if you don’t have the time to take on a new client. While this makes sense in some situations, it can come across as rude and elitist if you are not careful.

Rather than shut somebody down in this manner, give more of an explanation. Remember, your network can be full of clients and non-clients.

If you constantly find yourself apologizing as you network, break this habit as soon as possible.

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Chris is a full-time freelance writer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He specializes in web content, sales copy, and many other forms of writing. Chris has two books in print, as well as hundreds of articles in local and nationwide publications.

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