Formal networking could start the moment we join business groups, associations and clubs. Some groups are designed more for networking between businesspeople or customers. We should choose with care, because some groups are specifically intended for an industry that could be incompatible with our business. When we consider a group, we should invest enough time for we could network properly. We should also consider whether they share the same target. In this case, we could actually make friends with actual competitors in the market.

Once we join, there are many opportunities for us to make connections with potential suppliers, competitors, distributors and large-scale customers. When we attend specific events, we should focus on the quality of our relationships, instead of focusing on the quantity of contacts. By improving relationships, we will allow our contacts to know us better. Over time, they could become more comfortable with us and they may start doing partnership with us. We should make great first impressions with active listening, proper eye contact and firm handshake. It is also important to follow up any offer with our acquaintances in these networks.

We should show active interests when people are offering something. This should be a good way to build our network of connections and some groups also publish postcards, ezines and newsletters to members. We should also consider having an active involvement in this publication, by contributing content. This will allow us to be better known by other members. This will make it even easier to build network. As a result, we have much higher opportunity to gain more productive offers. A tried-and-true method in improving our network in these groups is by behaving like salespeople.

We can constantly interact with others through these business relationships. Expanding our networks could also be performed in our storefront. If no one is visiting our shop, we shouldn’t just sit inside the shop and we could actively distribute flyers and make connections with potential customers. It is often possible to have conversations with pedestrians, especially if they are interested with our products. The practice of networking is a form of art and it is essential for many businesspeople. It is a good idea to consider hosting events in a much more fantastic way. In this case, we should be able to keep in touch with available contacts and make new ones. Although the actual cost of hosting a party, sporting event, seminar or open house event can be quite high, we shouldn’t overlook them. We could invite members in our groups and discuss about many interesting options. Often, we get many prospective offers by hosting these events regularly.

It is also a good idea to use business groups as a ways to seek out sponsors for our events. This will cut the overall cost, while strengthening relationships with our sponsors. When planning an event, we should consider any activity that can immediately transformed into actual sales. Overall, networking is an essential activity that we should always do.