Business Networking: 10 Tips for Success
1. The fundamental tool for success is not the business card. The key to success is your story, the success story that helps your potential customers know you. Make it memorable because people forget things but they remember stories and spread them. Write it and make it memorable and sustaining. That gives the needed kick start to your networking.

2. Whenever you get a query by email seeking partnership or business enquiry, do make an effort to look for the telephone number of the client. Don't hesitate to call him and say hi. People like this personal approach instead of the impersonal mundane email. This works wonders.

3. Local groups, organizations, associations, trade bodies and chambers are a great source of successful networking. Small business groups can be easily targeted by your conversational skills. Talk to them about you and your business. They may like you to personally contact them and explain to them as to how you can help them boost their businesses when they establish relationship with you.

4. Make it a point to attend weekly or occasional networking meetings or occasional business conferences where people exchange ideas and introduce themselves to each other. These meetings can generate a steady stream of new business. Get as much information as possible from others about their business and their needs. Look for problem areas where you can offer your services. Work for spreading your network whenever you make a new contact.

5. Focus on approachability that is a two-way road. That means you are on the turf of some body or you are inviting some to your turf. Both ways you should be able to benefit. You must be ready to immediately join the discussion without taking the help of formal questions. This approach expects you to do real homework. Search for the common point of interest that is essential for any discussion or interaction. This will take you nearer to your potential customers or clients.

6. Ask the right type of questions instead of the usual useless questions – how do you do? Think something that draws the attention of others. Even when you are confronted with a fruitless question as such as 'what is going on?' go for a flavored answer meaning magnify the way you are feeling. Say 'amazing' or 'awesome' instead of 'fine' to a question 'how is it going?' This answer will make the inquirer curious as to why you said so. And the inquirer will remember you.

7. When you are in a crowd, don't cross your hands even when you are bored or it is too cold. This posture indicates that you are defensive, nervous, judgmental and skeptical. People hesitate to come closer to you. Do you approach anybody like that?

8. Remember that networking depends mostly on attitude. Many think that networking is nothing but selling their product or services to everybody they come in contact with. Such people do not want to be friends. They are selfish to the core and not interested in making valuable relationships. They focus only on their needs. Don't be one among them. Make extra effort to take time to help others and share your ideas with them.

9. Networking takes time. You can't expect tons of business to flow into your lap or scores of potential clients come to you without developing meaningful relationships. You must dig a well before you are thirsty. So you must take care to help others before you seek their help and develop sustaining relationships.

10. The goal of direct mailing and advertizing should not be solely to make a sale. The aim should be to get as much contact information as possible so that you can do business with those who show interest in your product or services. So your promos should be designed in such a way that you get a maximum number of people who have at least a little interest in your services or product to give their contact information.
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