Keep in mind that networking is about being genuine and authentic, building trust and relationships, and seeing how you can help others.

A lot of business is still done on a handshake basis, and the best way to network with other business owners and entrepreneurs is through face-to-face meetings and networking groups.

Go prepared to offer something of value to the group
It is important to note that Networking builds confidence, – in  you personally – in you externally – and in your business and services

The most important skill for effective business networking is listening; focusing on how you can help the person you are listening to rather than on how they can help you is the first step to establishing a mutually beneficial relationship

The purpose networking events is to give business people the ability to collaborate with other experts to help them grow their businesses or improve their professional lives.
The benefits of being here include:

Opportunities to help other business owners
Receiving assistance from other owners
Additional knowledge and perspective
Communication with like-minded individuals
And so much more

Potential prospects will want to get to know you a little better
What people would like to know about you in 1 minute or less is

Who you are
What you do
Why should people use your services
Whom do you want to meet

Ask yourself what your goals are in participating in networking meetings so that you will pick groups that will help you get what you are looking for.
Some meetings are based more on learning, making contacts, and/or volunteering rather than on strictly making business connections.
Visit as many groups as possible that spark your interest.

Notice the tone and attitude of the group. Do the people sound supportive of one another? Does the leadership appear competent?

Hold volunteer positions in organizations. This is a great way to stay visible and give back to groups that have helped you
Ask open-ended questions in networking conversations. This means questions that ask who, what, where, when, and how as opposed to those that can be answered with a simple yes or no. This form of questioning opens up the discussion and shows listeners that you are interested in them.

Become known as a powerful resource for others. When you are known as a strong resource, people remember to turn to you for suggestions, ideas, names of other people, etc. This keeps you visible to them Have a clear understanding of what you do and why, for whom, and what makes your doing it special or different from others doing the same thing.

In order to get referrals, you must first have a clear understanding of what you do that you can easily articulate to others. Be able to articulate what you are looking for and how others may help you. Too often people in conversations ask, “How may I help you?” and no immediate answer comes to mind.

Follow through quickly and efficiently on referrals you are given.
When people give you referrals, your actions are a reflection on them. Respect and honour that and your referrals will grow.

Call those you meet who may benefit from what you do and vice versa. Express that you enjoyed meeting them, and ask if you could get together and share ideas.


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