One of the commonest pieces of businesses advice is "Network, network, network." But sometimes it isn't always clear about what is meant by it. Networking with whom, how, where or when and with what goal in mind? The answers depend on where your business is both geographically and in its development - but networking falls into a few broad categories and in each of these categories, it follows some specific rules:
- Meeting - Always try have meetings with clients, early in the relationship, rather than using digital communications. Build rapport with them. Learn to know people on a personal level.
- Be helpful - If you have a contact that may help someone else's business, share it, you may never know when the favour may be returned.
- Find out who you want to talk to - When joining a network some business owners will be there and you may want to pick their brains for advice. Try get to the networking event early and just take a walk around and see who's who?
- Use online networking - Use your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to connect with people that you have common ground with. They may give you advice and help point you in the right direction. Just like you may be able to help them.
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