One definition of networking is developing and using contacts made in business for purposes beyond the reason for the initial contact.

For example, a sales representative may ask a customer for names of others who may be interested in his product.

For many of us networking is something we don’t look forward to, but it is absolutely essential to success in any business endeavor. It makes no difference if you’re an entrepreneur or a corporate employee. If you want to be successful, networking must be a part of your plan.

Some key points to remember when networking are:

Always carry your business cards – you never know who you’re going to meet and where you’re going to meet them. Make it a habit to always have business cards on your possession even if you’re just walking to the corner store.

Be authentic and genuine – remember it’s so important to be you and build relationships. Focus on how you can help others.

Visit as many groups that peak your interest – this gives you time to observe group dynamics. Are the meetings efficiently run? Is this a group that you see yourself a part of?

Be visible – become involved in the inner-workings of the group. Make it a habit to meet at least 3 new people. Join a committee. Become an officer. Again, this is building your network.

Be willing to give – it’s important to remember the old adage to give what you expect to receive. Be open to giving referrals, giving assistance and helping others achieve their goals. It will come back to you in big ways.

Follow through quickly on any referrals you are given – follow-up is a reflection on you and the person who gave you the referral. Be sure to make contact quickly.

And remember to have fun. Step out of your comfort zone and meet new people. In all of this you’ll be building your network, improving your business and possibly creating some new friendships.

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  1. By on September 22, 2011 at 4:00 pm


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