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Every time you meet
another person there is an opportunity to do business. By sharing ideas,
leads, contacts and opportunities everyone prospers. The purpose of
networking is to give and get information. If you network properly,
nobody feels pressured or used. You are not selling, you are telling.
You are not asking for favors, you are giving valuable information.
By going to business
card mixers sponsored by the local chamber of commerce, starting or
joining networking clubs, and generally letting everyone in the world
know what you do, you'll be well on your way to getting more clients
--- and having fun at the same time.
There are 10 key
ingredients to make your networking effective:
- Set networking
goals - determine the types of people you want to meet, how many you
want to meet and what functions you are going to attend.
- Be specific -
While networking, be very specific about the type of person you want
to meet. For example, as a speaker and a trainer, I look for meeting
planners, training directors, human resource directors, personnel
directors and others. These are the people who hire people like myself.
- Develop a "16
second" sizzler - You should be able to tell others what you do in
16 seconds or less. If we go on much longer than this peoples minds
tend to wander
- Get involved
- Go to meetings of the rotary club and other civic and fraternal
organizations, church groups, trade and professional groups and others.
- Increase your
visibility - Speak before groups at every opportunity. Write articles
for trade publications or newsletters. Become an officer in your club.
All these add to your credibility and motivate people to seek you
- Make contacts
- Whether it's a business or social situation and you want to meet
someone, just do it. Take the risk; what do you have to lose? The
more people you know the more opportunities will come your way
- Ask - If you
don't ask for what you want, you won't get it. Find the person who
can help you … and whom you can help. Then ask.
- Keep in touch
- Some people are great at networking. They have no trouble meeting
people, but when it comes to following up with them they drop the
ball. We recommend staying in contact with clients and those in your
network at least once every two months. Call them, invite them to
lunch, send articles relevant to their business, play golf, send them
a copy of your newsletter and so on. Whatever you do, stay in touch.
- Always have your
networking tools with you --- Make sure you have your business card
and promotional material handy. I would also recommend you put your
picture on your business card. At the end of the day, you'll be remembered.
- The more you
give, the more you get - When someone gives you a lead, referral,
new business, or an idea make a special effort to return the favor
as soon as possible. In addition, always send a handwritten thank
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