10 Terrific Business Networking Techniques

Smart business networking techniques can help you make new connections for career advancement. When you network with others, your goal is to provide value to everyone you meet. In return, they'll provide value to you by becoming walking advertisements for you as an employee or a business owner. The following 10 tips can show you how to make the most out of every business interaction you have:

Have The Right Attitude
Networking should be a mutually beneficial activity. Both you and the people you are networking with should get something out of the experience. If you're in it for yourself, people are going to see through you pretty quickly.

Set your goals. Before you attend networking events or put yourself out there, know what you want to get out of the experience, whether it's finding a new job or just making contact with people in your industry.

Be happy. Networking events aren't gripe sessions. Before you attend an event, put on a happy face. If you're using a social networking site, be sure that your posts and profile are positive.

Provide Value
Be willing to teach others. You can provide value in your networking circles by teaching others how to create the same kind of successes that you have had in your field. If you emphasize teaching or offer to act as a mentor, you'll be able to provide value to others and increase your standing within your circle.

Listen to other people. When you are at an event, you should take time to listen to what others have to say instead of just pushing your own agenda. If you're networking online, you should read other people's posts and offer feedback on their articles or blog posts.

Focus on giving. When you meet someone new, ask yourself what you can offer and give them instead of what they can give to you. It could be as simply as acting as a sounding board for someone, or you could connect someone with a new job. Give testimonials about other people, and introduce others whenever you can.

Have A Follow-Up Strategy
Thank people at the event. Once the event is over, be sure to thank people for talking with you. If you had a good connection with certain people, be sure to trade cards and make plans for follow up in the future.

Use thank-you cards. If there's someone who really went out of her way to help you at an event or in your career (like with a testimonial or a job contact), be sure to send a formal thank you card to thank them for their time.

Online Networking
Post a profile on the major networking sites. If you don't have a social networking profile in today's day and age, you are doing yourself a disservice.

Connect with others in your field via social networking. Many times, professionals will start social networking profiles and then let them sit dormant. Use these to put out the word about new developments in your career, share helpful information and connect with people you might otherwise not have connected with.

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