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When I facilitate workshops on networking we talk about some basic ideas that help businesses move forward and network more effectively. Connecting with other businesses and prospective clients greatly increases your chances of success. Here are some practical ideas to boost your networking effectiveness.

* Decide who you should be talking to. Cast a more narrow net of contacts that will really make a difference to your business rather than many who will never be of assistance in any way.
* Keep an open door policy. Just because someone can’t use your services currently doesn’t mean that they won’t have a need in the future.
* Keep your bridges strong. An occasional hello or friendly contact helps keep your business in others’ minds.
* Keep it professional. Networking is about building professional ties. Focus on building the best professional relationships possible.
* Your behavior tells people how you run your business. The way you follow-through and communicate tells other people what to expect from you.
* Join online networking groups and use them actively. You only benefit from using online networks if you actually contact people and talk with them.
* Meet people in person. Make sure to give people face time so they know who you are and remember your lovely visage.
* Keep going. Always keep meeting people and expand your sphere of influence.

Use these tips to create a networking strategy that will lead you to success. Successful networkers always keep moving and spend their time cultivating mutually beneficial relationships.

Regards,

Guy Farmer
I help people plan their networking strategies.

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Comment by Cutter Mitchell on May 14, 2009 at 8:45am
This is a great post. People need to have a strategy, especially in today's economy.

The one thing I will add is that while these are good guidelines each and every person needs to develop their own specific strategy for networking.

For instance, I have a technique where if I am at an event I look for someone standing by themselves. The idea being no one wants to be by themselves at an event where you are supposed to be talking with someone. So they are going to talk with you and be appreciative of it.

I have other strategies, but that will cost you. (only kidding)

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