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Making connections or networking is a process that involves interacting with people who are likely to refer you to others or positively mention your name. It can also help you find the right vendors for your business. Aside from being able to connect with clients and potential employees, business networking can also involve connecting with individuals who provide training and information.

 

Despite the negative connotations associated with networking, successful networkers know it’s not all about asking for favors. It’s about developing trusting relationships with other people.

One of the most critical factors that a successful networker should consider when building a successful network is helping others. This is because, in addition to connecting with clients and potential employees, successful networkers can also help promote their businesses.

 

Make connections now if you’re planning on building a successful business. Before creating a network, make sure you’re getting out there and making connections. Here are some tips that will help you expand your opportunities.

 

Attend networking events

One of the most important steps a successful networker should take is identifying where to go to make connections. Although many events and activities can serve as networking opportunities, attending local business events is also important. For instance, if your city’s chamber of commerce has a gathering for professionals in your industry, then you might want to attend. You may also want to see if there are any local meetings for people or societies related to your field. 

 

Set your goals

Before you start planning your networking activities, make sure that you have a clear agenda. Having a well-defined goal will help you make the most of your opportunities. For instance, you might want to make connections, donate time to the community, or learn about the latest industry trends.

 

Be social all of the time, not just during work hours

Even though you’re not working, keeping networking is still important. For instance, you can still make connections at your child’s school events or at a health club. In addition to being able to connect with clients and potential employees, successful networkers are also able to help promote their businesses.

 

Have conversation icebreakers in your toolbelt

One of the most important factors that a successful networker should consider when it comes to building a successful network is overcoming the initial awkwardness of the first meeting. One way you can do that is by opening with a compliment. For instance, you can introduce yourself by saying that you like their shoes or tie. Another important aspect that a successful networker should consider is asking a question. For instance, you can ask people about their industry or what they think about the latest industry developments.

 

Be sure to follow up

Although networking is only half of the battle, it’s still essential to maintain a positive relationship with your contacts. Even if you’re not actively looking for a job, try to reach out to your contacts a couple of times a year to keep up with the latest industry developments.