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Networking is critical to business, and it is important to make relationships throughout your career. However, there are different approaches, and you want to find the middle ground between building relationships and getting ahead professionally. Continue reading to learn common networking fails and how to avoid them.

Don’t Hide Your Motives

One network fail occurs when people hide their motives. Any hint of disingenuity can give someone a bad feeling, and you need to be up front with people about why you are reaching out. People know that there is a reason for your contact, so share with them what it is. Being honest is the best way to start a new relationship because people are more comfortable when they know what you want from the contact.

Don’t Ask for Too Much

While you need to be up front, you should be cautious not to ask for too much. If you are looking for a job, ask the person if they know anyone you should contact rather than asking for a specific introduction. Make sure that you are asking a contact for an introduction to someone they actually know rather than someone they may have access to. It is important to ask for reasonable requests, or you will probably lose this contact going forward.

Make Sure That You Put Forth an Effort

If you ask for a contact for business, make sure that you have taken the time to outline why you need to contact. If you own a business, you should have a website that they can look at. You should have business cards and social media pages. You want to look prepared and responsible so that people are not put off or concerned that you haven’t prepared.

Don’t Be Vague

When you have a request, you need to be clear. However, don’t sound controlling. Be specific in asking what you want, but don’t tell the contact how you want it done. If you have inventory that you need to get rid of, ask if they know anyone who buys inventory. However, don’t tell them how you want it unloaded. If they give you the contact, you can discuss these details with the person who plans to buy your inventory.