Did George Washington really say, “I cannot tell a lie…” when asked whether he cut down the cherry tree? Whether he did or not is probably not important as important as the message itself. And it’s a great motto to take into your one-on-one networking sessions—honesty.
That’s not to say that people lie while networking. But it’s fairly safe to say some networkers are prone to exaggeration when it comes to talking about their company’s capabilities. For example, the website designer claiming to be an SEO expert, when in fact it’s a service they farm out. Not that there is anything wrong with offering a service that you don’t actually do. Just be up-front about that.
When somebody refers business to you it’s more than your reputation on the line. It’s theirs too. Overpromising on what you can deliver puts several relationships at risk.
Lead and referral passing is supposed to be a win for all—the person who gets the business, the person who passes the referral, and the business who benefits from getting services from a trusted source rather than having to do an extensive search on their own. By maintaining an honesty is the best and only policy, you ensure that win for everyone and earn trust for future referrals down the road.