Monday, January 14, 2013

How to Make Quality Networking Connections

They say it’s not about what you know but who you know – well in business the way to meet people is by networking. Furthermore, attending various business events in your local city is a great way to get your name out there and meet plenty of new potential clients at the same time. However networking is by no means easy – and it’s certainly not just about showing up.
Here are 5 key things to help you grow your business through networking in 2013:

1. Research
There are many different types of events out there, each with its own style and format. Some events are membership based – while others can be more casual. Regardless of the type of event you attend, be prepared and know what to expect before you arrive.

2. Objectives
Be clear on what your networking objectives are. Are you looking to grow your network of contacts? To sell a specific product? Perhaps you’re promoting an upcoming event. Either way, be clear on your objectives for attending the event and you’ll certainly maximize your results.

3. Listen
When at a networking event the best thing you can do is listen. Ask plenty of questions and get to know the people in the room. As the conversation flows, you’ll also have a chance to tell others about your own business as well.

4. Introduce
Once you’ve had a chance to meet various business contacts at the event you’ll want to keep the connections flowing by helping to introduce others in the room. Help others meet and get connected by making strategic introductions – it will help you make a great first impression.

5. Follow Up
Following up with your networking contacts is key for long term success. Be sure to connect through LinkedIn, various social media channels, email, mail, telephone and even face-to-face meeting when the time is right

Follow these 5 steps and you’ll be sure to have plenty of networking success in 2013!

-Vito Marchese

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