Professional Networking For Dummies
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Building a professional network of clients and contacts for your business involves how you relate to people. Developing a professional network includes awareness of people who interact with your business, having a positive attitude about people, communicating effectively with people, and doing the things that build strong relationships.

In the business world, effective networkers

  • Are aware: Opportunities are all around you, and yet if you’re not aware of them, they may as well not exist. Awareness moves opportunities into possibilities.

    Because of all the strengths, skills, information, contacts, and expertise that you have to offer others, and that others have to offer you, your network can create a multitude of opportunities for yourself and others.

  • Have a helpful attitude: Being an effective networker isn’t just about what you do; it’s also about your attitude toward what you’re doing. Your attitude influences everything in your life — the goals you set, the risks you’re willing to take, the way you approach people, your willingness to approach people, the way you respond to people, and much more.

    Your attitude not only affects what you do; it also affects the way people respond to you. Your attitude can create a barrier and turn people off, or it can communicate with people that you want people to interact with you.

  • Hone their communication skills: Networking happens through conversation. After mastering the art of small talk, you will feel more comfortable meeting new people and developing rapport. By developing rapport with people, you will be able to turn small talk into opportunities to make requests and be a networking resource.

  • Develop relationship-building habits: A network exists as a series of relationships and connections between people. People must relate with and respect one another in order for a valuable networking exchange to happen. Building relationships is your first priority when networking.

    Considerate, respectful, caring behavior builds strong relationships. These behaviors, practiced on a consistent and regular basis, become the relationship-building habits that guarantee a long-lasting, fulfilling network.

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