Monday, January 14, 2013

8 Ways to Treat Networking as a Business

Networking must be treated as a business if you expect it to be effective. Whether following up with prospective client phone calls or rubbing elbows with colleagues at a conference, follow these pointers to keep the business-focus of your networking efforts in mind.

1. Remember that networking is just another method of prospecting; it has its own set of costs associated with it. Plan for them.

2. Success or failure of the networking process depends on setting specific goals, a budget, and a time horizon.

3. Networking also depends on knowing the market, adding value to buyers, understanding profitability, and being aware of the competition, just like any business.

4. Be open and outgoing in networking situations; don’t be shy.

5. Understand that you must give something in a networking situation before you can receive benefits from networking.

6. Learn to position yourself through giving of your time, your talents and your energy.

7. Make an inventory of the best, most desirable clients/ skills/abilities. Update this list periodically.

8. Review all of your current affiliations. Consider the ROI on each of them.

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