Liz Ryan at BusinessWeek OnLine had a great article recently titled: "Networking: What Not To Do". In this witty piece she shares stories of people who desire to get to know her better, and then try to set up meetings across town or show up ridiculously late (and seem not to care).
As someone who writes and lectures on networking and business relationship skills, I instantly related to the horrific stories that Ms. Ryan communicates to her readers. Why in the world would someone think that they can ask another person to lunch, then make that person drive 45 minutes across town....only to show up late or stand them up altogether? But it happens all the time.
The trick to building networking relationships is to make it EASY for other people to get to know you. If you systematically make it difficult for people to connect with you, then it is only natural that your reputation become that of a difficult person. And we all know what happens to those who are seen as a "pain in the ankle" (I know, another word really goes in place of ankle, but hey, this is a family friendly blog!!!).
I recommend you read Ms. Ryan's article and examine your own networking habits. Schedule appointments at or near the other person's office, and for the love of Pete....show up 5 minutes early.
Have A Great Day.