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Business Networking Tips
By Dawn Billings



Business Networking Tips

Business networking is the process of connecting with other people, creating mutually beneficial relationships that help you exchange resources, referrals and new ideas. Business networking forms the basis of business relationships. Small businesses rely heavily upon effective business networking to win important clients, customers and business partners. Networking well may not only differentiate your business but also ensure its survival. There are more places to network than ever so there is no excuse not to be out in your community getting connected. When you network keep the following networking tips in mind:

1. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Business networking is a never ending series of first impressions At face-to-face events, dress your best, polish your elevator speech, the one where you can explain what you do in a very succinct manner. Make eye contact and generally present yourself to impress others with your professionalism and charisma.

2. Don’t dominate—communicate! If you approach business networking solely as an opportunity to talk about yourself and your business, you'll make people want to run from you. Limit how much (and how repetitively) you talk, especially about yourself, and focus on listening, learning and laughing. People love to be listened to and will want to return the favor.

3. Be Consistent. Don’t think you can show up once and there it is—growth for your business. Marketing is always about consistent touches. Find business networking you love so that you can do it consistently.

4. Business networking opportunities. Most of us define ourselves as members of groups. Whether they are groups around religion, race, gender, language or even a favorite sports team, create affiliations that matter to you, then consider them as networking possibilities. You will find, you can network through such events as church picnics, support groups, tailgate parties, environmental causes and gender-specific professional organizations, because networking is all about creating relationships.

5. Get focused. Thousands of official networking events take place every day, and the Internet offers access to millions more; unfortunately, the availability of all of these opportunities leads some entrepreneurs to take a shotgun approach to networking - which results in the failure to pay sufficient attention to any one opportunity. Be selective. Identify and then act on the business networking opportunities that you believe are the best fit for you. Networking and marketing require focus.

6. Be Memorable. Consider things that will differentiate you from the crowd and increase your chances of success. You certainly do not want to be one of those people that people forget. Make sure your business card helps people remember you and what you have to offer. Wear you name tag upside down. Wear a hat. Consider what you can do to help people remember you without embarrassing yourself.

7. Network with integrity. Don’t bother to network if you can’t do it with the utmost integrity. Integrity is the cornerstone of trust and trust is the heart of strong relationships.

8. Network like you breath—everywhere you go. Without turning yourself into someone who is prepared to collar all passersby with your pitch, treat every social event - a party, a ball game, a play - as an opportunity to meet new people. You never know where you will meet that next great client, customer, business partner or best friend.

9. Remember you want to do business with people that people know. Be the kind of person that people trust to refer to their friends. It might not be the person you meet at a business networking event that will be your client or customer, it might be their sister, brother, best friend or neighbor.

10. Help others. While your ultimate goal may be to find customers or to grow your business, you are also have a responsibility to help others. You want them to help you, right? Be prepared to help others in any way you can. Offer whatever resources you can - advice, contacts, support, new ideas in order to increase your value to your business-networking group. This enlightened generosity will eventually return to you.

11. Be your best self, but be yourself. The best way to network is to not be conscious of the fact that you are networking. Don't let your mind dwell on the purpose or mechanics of networking. Relax. Listen. Be excited to meet new people. Learn all you can. Enjoy. And it will surprise you how much your business networking efforts pay off.

Carefully plan the events you'll attend, define your purpose and goals. Know how to communicate what it is you do and what you need to succeed at what you do. Maintain a casual and friendly demeanor and enjoy yourself.

Dawn Billings, CEO & Founder of TROVA Business Network.com, TROVA Business Directory.com and TROVA Women Business Directory.com, and The Heart Link Network.com, women networking at its best.



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About the Author

Dawn Billings
Mesa, AZ 85213
918-605-1492

If you would like to re-print this article, please contact the author.
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