Most if not all self-help business books will suggest network as a vital part of success. However, many don't do much in way of networking themselves or their business. If you're looking to gain entry to any new industry or grow your business you should be networking.
Networking is best performed in-person and one-on-one. Effective networking should be two people having a discussion about like-minded items and not a sales pitch. There're opportunities to discuss your business and request sales but that comes later. ABC (Always Be Closing) is true when performing sales, however, this is networking.
Find time to network and grow your business. Attend networking functions that are to be beneficial to your business but attend some once in awhile to gain exposure to different methods and people.
Attend events that are specific to your industry or potential client base. When attending events have an agenda, learn, grow, sell, etc. Networking functions are not just to have fun. They have a purpose. Get focused. You're on a mission to work your business.
Pay attention to who you're talking to. Are you surround by sales and staff or decision makers? This is very important if looking for business-to-business networking. A sales associate may not be very helpful unless they're capable and willing to put you in-front of decision makers.
Where to Network
Perform effective networking where possible
If you're not attending at least one business networking function a week get busy. BNI is a great resource for many business owners looking to network and are just starting out.
Checkout local communities. Many counties, cities, and towns offer many networking functions that are free.
When you attend a networking event be sure to ask if anyone knows of other events or events that are coming up soon. That's the power of networking! You'll likely learn about other events that other individuals are also planning to attend.
Apply these methods in your networking functions and you'll have more that enough networking opportunities.
Take your business to the next level; scale, grow, and profit!