5 Outdated Networking Practices


In the fast-paced world of business, the time you spend networking is invaluable. It’s crucial to use this time wisely and avoid practices that can be counterproductive. At the Executives Association of Greater Phoenix (EAGP), we strive to foster meaningful connections and professional growth through effective networking. Here are five outdated networking practices that need to be banned to ensure you’re making the most out of your networking opportunities.

Elevator Pitches

There’s a time and place for everything, including elevator pitches. In a room full of potential investors, a concise and compelling elevator pitch is essential. However, in a networking group that meets weekly, hearing the same pitch for the hundredth time becomes redundant and robotic.

Your colleagues know what you do. Instead of repeating the same pitch, consider presenting a fresh perspective on your business or industry. Share a funny story, make an exciting announcement, discuss important news or trends, give a shoutout to someone new, or simply ask for a favor. Highlight the passion, grit, expertise, and competence you bring to your work. This approach not only keeps your audience engaged but also showcases your unique personality.

Bottom Line: Ditch the pitch and keep it fresh.

Hard Selling

high pressure sales

Nothing drives people away at networking events faster than being sold to. Networking is not the time for hard selling. Instead, focus on building relationships. Set up one-on-one meetings with your target prospects and, even then, prioritize educating and solving their problems rather than using high-pressure sales tactics.

Remember, networking is about connecting, not closing deals on the spot. Build trust and rapport first.

Bottom Line: Jell, don’t sell.

Business Cards Overload

Business cards have their place, but the practice of indiscriminately handing them out to everyone at a networking event is outdated. It’s particularly off-putting when professionals distribute cards without engaging in meaningful conversation or, worse, during a meeting or presentation.

Save the card exchange for one-on-one meetings where there’s a genuine interest in furthering the connection. This approach is not only more respectful but also ensures that your business card ends up in the hands of someone who truly wants to stay in touch.

Bottom Line: Discard the card overload.

Smartphone Overuse


Smartphones are indispensable, but they can be a significant distraction at networking events. Constantly checking your phone during conversations or presentations can make others feel unimportant and undervalued.

Unless you need your phone for an event-specific app or feature, keep it tucked away. Focus on the people in the room and be fully present in your interactions. This not only shows respect but also enhances the quality of your networking experience.

Bottom Line: Leave the phone alone.

Rigid Dress Codes

stuffy suits

Gone are the days when business attire was strictly suits and ties for men and modest dresses for women. Today, many professionals are encouraged to express their individuality through their clothing choices. While it’s important to dress appropriately, you should wear something that complements your personality and profession.

Allowing for personal style within the bounds of professionalism can keep the creative edge and make networking events more relaxed and genuine.

Bottom Line: Dress your best for success, but let your personality shine through.

By avoiding these outdated networking practices, you can make your networking efforts more effective and enjoyable. Focus on building genuine relationships, stay engaged and present, and let your unique personality shine. Your networking group will thank you for it, and you’ll find that your time spent networking becomes far more rewarding.