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Networking Blunders

Entrepreneurs share their most awkward networking moments.

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This story appears in the June 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Networking is hard. It's not easy going up to somebody you don't know, or barely know, under the guise of being interested when all you really want to do is make a sale.

So we can sympathize with Robert Smith when he remembers running into Craig Williams, a contestant in the third season of NBC's The Apprentice, outside a hotel in Atlanta last year. Smith, 32, who owns his own PR firm, Robert Smith & Associates PR, thought he saw a golden opportunity when he ran into the pseudocelebrity. And he promptly wasted it by rambling about Donald Trump. "Not 'Hi, how are you?'" Smith recalls regretfully. "I just said, 'What is it like working with Donald Trump?'"

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