The 13 Networking Types

(Post by Andrew Thorp)

We had the announcement in the press recently of 7 social classes. A BBC survey of 160,000 people revealed that we’ve moved beyond Upper, Middle and Lower and we’ve now got everything from the Technical Middle Class to the Precarious Proletariat (‘Precariat’).

So today I’m taking this to another level with 13 classes of…business networker. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve met some wonderful people and excellent practitioners in my time, but some of these may ring true with you. (I’ve employed the male pronoun for ease of use but I’ve met some women in these categories too!). Let me know if you can add to the list.

Lampstand
Stands on his own in the corner, hopes that no one will notice him or engage in conversation.

Wildebeest
Moves around in herds of his own kind, a defence mechanism against intruders.

Mystery Man
Never really tells you what he does, talks in riddles.

Magneto
Sticks close to you and follows you when you back away. No spacial awareness.

Predator
Always on the hunt for victims he can sell to. Quickly loses interest when pickings are slim and hunts elsewhere.

Human Brochure
Closely related to the Predator. Always willing to explain every aspect of his product or service in person.

Foodie
Talks and eats simultaneously and leaves legacy on your blouse or jacket.

Performer
Life and soul of the party. Loves being the centre of attention, likes people to listen rather than talk.

Super Bore
Makes time stand still, willing to share his entire back-catalogue of (long) stories.

Nerd
Really into coding and assumes you are too.

Darth Vader
Entices you over to the Dark Side, business always tough and cursed with the clients from hell.

MLM (My Life’s Mission)
Network marketer. Hell bent on reducing your bills/softening your skin/elongating your life.

Mayfly
Short life-span. Makes initial contact then disappears without a trace.

There is of course a 14th category, the person who takes a genuine interest in people, who asks great questions and listens attentively, who has an intriguing elevator pitch and a great story to tell, who has charm and grace and the entire A-Z of social skills. I like to think there’s some of me in 14, but I’m sure that on more than one occasion I’ve deposited spittle on someone’s jacket, told them the same story twice or assumed they’re as interested in golf as I am!

What about you?

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Mojo Your Business is an innovative training & consultancy company based in Manchester, UK. We're passionate about helping businesses and individuals perform better through effective communication. We specialise in corporate storytelling and how it applies to internal and external communication (employee relations, employability skills, leadership, relationship building, sales, marketing and public relations). More at http://mojoyourbusiness.com/
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