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Networking 101

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MOMMY NETWORK by Susan Fishback

Research is important to all aspects of business but it is essential to  accomplish networking basics.  When looking for new networking groups, be sure to see who is involved.  The local chamber of commerce is often a good place to start.  These groups have a large variety of people and opportunities.

Before attending the meeting, look at the website and see what companies are involved.  There is often a key-note speaker who will be listed as well.  Take the time to look up the companies before attending so that your questions are relevant to what they do.  Look through their employees, mission and events that they are involved in.

Facebook and social media in general, is another great resource.  This will show you how they interact with current customers and potential customers.  This is also an opportunity to see how they market themselves.

After you have completed your research, determine what aspects of the company you relate to.  It might be their product or their community involvement.  Having a point in common is a great way to start the conversation.  Be sure to show how your area of expertise relates to their company.

At the meeting, carry a pen and business cards.  Many people keep their business cards in one pocket or on one side of their purse and put the ones they collect in the other pocket or other side of the purse.  After talking, write some notes on the back of their business card.  Keep it simple, but put the highlights down.  This will help with your follow-up.

Within the first business day of the meeting, be sure to send an email to the people you met.  Keep it simple, show that you remember them personally and leave the door open to meet again.  After connections are made; it doesn’t have to be a formal meeting – you can meet for coffee or lunch.

Networking is all about connections and finding how you relate with other business people.  The more you are out there, the easier it is.

Remember to smile and practice!

Catch up on more posts by Mommy Network, Susan Fishback, at www.blackberrymom.com and read some of her other thoughts at www.simplymoderndance.com or follow her on twitter @susanfishback.

 

 

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