Just as there are many good ways to network, there are also ways you can make costly mistakes. You may not pay in a literal way, but you can lose business and damage your reputation.
Selling When You Should Be Nurturing
Coming on too strong is a sure way to scare people away. If you are pushing to sell instead of listening and learning, you will accomplish very little. Remember, people do business with those they like and trust. If people feel positively toward you, they will want to work with you. They will not feel positively if they think you have an agenda and are only out to further your own career and goals.
Not Delivering What You Promised
Networking is based on trust and relationships. If you break that trust, you will lose the relationship and any referrals you may have received. The quickest way to do this is failing to follow through on a promise or agreement. Whether this is an oversight or an intentional act, if you do not keep your word, people will not want to be involved with you. If you say you will do something, do it and do it promptly. Otherwise you will be viewed as unreliable. Even if what you promised is something small like a phone call, failure to follow through will result in negative feelings and may cause you to lose the relationship. The bottom line is that you need to go above and beyond for the people in your network.