The fruits of my networking labors have been paying off this week, big time! I have had almost back-to-back meetings with potential clients and professional organizations. I still have more scheduled for next week! What this means to me is that my networking is paying off.

As a business owner there are so many things you have to do on a daily and weekly basis and one of those simply has to be networking. It’s not always easy to fit it into your schedule and it’s not always to walk into a new meeting and introduce yourself. I know, I still sometimes get stage fright!

Here are some of the steps I take to chase away the butterflies and to make the most of my time out of the office:

  • Make a mental note of people with whom you want to interact (and why)
  • Make certain you walk out of the networking event with what you believe are three solid leads. By leads, I mean people you want to grab a cup of coffee with and learn more about… and tell them more about you!
  • Ask for introductions. If you know someone at the meeting, don’t just talk with them the whole time, ask them to introduce you to someone that you don’t know. Grow your circle of contacts.

Once you’ve attended the meeting and collected the business cards, don’t forget to follow up. If you send out a newsletter or tip (which I do every week) ask the people you meet whether they’d like to receive it. It’s a great way to give value and stay top of mind.

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