THE BLOG

The 13 Networking Types

07/04/2013 18:20 BST | Updated 06/06/2013 10:12 BST

We've always had an obsession with class in Britain and it was therefore fascinating to hear the results of recent research which suggested the existence of SEVEN social classes. The survey of 160,000 people conducted by the BBC revealed that we've moved beyond Upper, Middle and Lower and we've now got everything from the Technical Middle Class to the Precarious Proletariat ('Precariat').

But as an entrepreneur I've decided to take this to another level with 13 classes of...business networker. Don't get me wrong - I've met some wonderful people and excellent practitioners in my time, but some of these may ring true with you. (I've employed the male pronoun for ease of use but I've met some women in these categories too!). Let me know if you can add to the list.

Lampstand

Stands on his own in the corner, hopes that no one will notice him or engage in conversation.

Wildebeest

Moves around in herds of his own kind, a defence mechanism against intruders.

Mystery Man

Never really tells you what he does, talks in riddles.

Magneto

Sticks close to you and follows you when you back away. No spacial awareness.

Predator

Always on the hunt for victims he can sell to. Quickly loses interest when pickings are slim and hunts elsewhere.

Human Brochure

Closely related to the Predator. Always willing to explain every aspect of his product or service in person.

Foodie

Talks and eats simultaneously and leaves a legacy on your blouse or jacket.

Performer

Life and soul of the party. Loves being the centre of attention, likes people to listen rather than talk.

Super Bore

Makes time stand still, willing to share his entire back-catalogue of (long) stories.

Nerd

Really into coding and assumes you are too.

Darth Vader

Entices you over to the Dark Side, business always tough and cursed with the clients from hell.

MLM (My Life's Mission)

Network marketer. Hell bent on reducing your bills/softening your skin/elongating your life.

Mayfly

Short life-span. Makes initial contact then disappears without a trace.

There is of course a 14th category, the person who takes a genuine interest in people, who asks great questions and listens attentively, who has an intriguing elevator pitch and a great story to tell, who has charm and grace and the entire A-Z of social skills. I like to think there's some of me in 14, but I'm sure that on more than one occasion I've deposited spittle on someone's jacket, told them the same story twice or assumed they're as interested in golf as I am!

What about you?