Making Connections: Tips for Successful Business Networking

making connectionsMaking Connections: Tips for Successful Business Networking

It’s funny…the things you remember about people.

I only met him once, although I didn’t actually meet him. It was at an engagement party, and this well-dressed 20-something, a friend of a guest, had put himself at the center of the conversation. I stayed along the perimeter of his circle of polite listeners as he pontificated about his business. I couldn’t tell you much of anything he said, except for one thing:

“You’re really on your own. If someone isn’t bringing me business, they are useless to me.”

I was only a teenager, but even I knew enough to realize that this big shot was not only boorish, but also tremendously shortsighted. As I grew older and eventually started my own business, I always remembered the importance of developing relationships.

Networking has added much to my life, as well as my business. We are fortunate to be entrepreneurs in a time that offers so many opportunities for networking. Whether in person or online, the chances to make connections are numerous. Keep in mind, however, that these opportunities can cut both ways. Used well, they can offer you many business relationships that can last for years. Used poorly, they can result in you doing your business far more harm than good. It is crucial to understand what networking is…and is not…to be able to do it effectively. Remember this:

Networking IS building relationships and developing trust. It is about meeting people, asking questions, listening, and getting to know people. It is about helping and sharing.

Networking IS NOT an opportunity for a sales pitch. This is neither the time nor the place for the hard sell, nor is it the venue in which your primary thought should be snagging new clients.

So how do you network effectively? Let’s start today with the valuable opportunities that present themselves in the form of live events (clubs, seminars, local events, etc.). You begin before you even enter the door.


Decide which events are best for you to attend. Not all events are a “fit” for you or your business.
Attend with an open mind. Going in ready to learn something new is not only a healthy attitude, but it also keeps you from talking too much about yourself.
Make sure that you are dressed appropriately and have your business cards readily available.
Turn the cell phone to vibrate! Nothing turns people off quite like an incessantly chiming cell phone. Do not plan to take any non-emergent calls during this time.


Stop and look around the room. This will give you the chance to take a breath and focus before approaching anyone.
Break off from people you know. You are there to meet people you don’t know.
See someone alone? Approach them and introduce yourself. It is very likely that they are nervous in this setting, and your reaching out to them will be appreciated and remembered.
Since it will be difficult to remember everyone you meet, make an effort to connect very well with two or three people.
When talking with someone, be mentally and physically present. Listen so that you can ask relevant questions. Maintain eye contact while engaged in conversation. Letting your eyes wander around the room while talking or listening suggests to the individual that you are bored with them and looking for your next contact. Often people do not realize they do this, and yet it speaks unpleasant volumes about them!
Speak pleasantly, confidently and clearly. Without making it into a sales pitch, let people understand how you can help them, even in a non-business way. For example, if the person with whom you’re speaking is a theater buff and you have access to discounted tickets, this would be a wonderful way to start a relationship.
Disengage in a polite manner. For one reason or another, you may have to end a conversation. Some individuals make that easier for you to do than others. You can simply excuse yourself to the restroom. You can tell them that there is someone with whom you need to have a word. You can explain that you do not wish to take up all of their valuable time. Always remember to thank them for their time to ask for their business card. Deftly done, you can leave a conversation in a positive manner and with no hurt feelings.


Send along a note (handwritten is a nice touch) to the people you met. It could be to thank them for their time, to express the pleasure you had meeting them, or to offer to schedule a meeting, coffee, or lunch.
When you do offer to arrange a one-on-one meeting with someone with whom you really connected, be sure to call and follow up on it.
Put the email addresses of those people you met on your email, newsletter, or ezine list only if they requested that you do so.
Do not forget to fulfill any promises you made to someone you met there (Remember the theater buff and your discount ticket connections?).

While your goal as an entrepreneur is to improve your business and increase your sales, these are not the first fruits of business networking. What comes initially are the relationships that develop with people we can help and who can help us. Ironically, when we de-emphasize the selling aspect, these relationships will, in one way or another, lead to increased sales over time. Even that business owner who may not seem to have much to offer you today, may be the connection who, tomorrow, brings business to you in ways you hadn’t foreseen. Networking takes time and effort, but it proves to be more than worth the investment, sometimes in ways we hadn’t imagined.

This post is from Bola Olonisakin, Creative Head & Online Strategist at GTechDesigns LLC. Bola specializes in web design and development techniques, standards and methodology. She works to enable organizations to grow their web strategy and increase the visibility of their websites. If you’re interested in improving your web presence, feel free to contact her at [email protected], or @gtechdesigns on Twitter. This post was originally posted at

Add a Blog


  1. 732916 208130Oh my goodness! an excellent post dude. Many thanks Even so We are experiencing issue with ur rss . Dont know why Not able to sign up to it. Could there be anybody obtaining identical rss dilemma? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx 217190

  2. 589718 807063It is truly a nice and useful piece of info. Im glad which you just shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing. 772420

  3. 194123 627660I dont normally have a look at these types of sites (Im a pretty modest person) – but even though I was a bit shocked as I was reading, I was certainly a bit excited as effectively. Thanks for generating my day 20690

  4. This design is incredible! You obviously know how to keep a
    reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job.
    I really loved what you had to say, and more
    than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  5. Pretty part of content. I simply stumbled upon your blog and
    in accession capital to claim that I acquire actually loved account your weblog posts.

    Anyway I’ll be subscribing in your feeds or even I fulfillment you get admission to consistently rapidly.

  6. you are in reality a excellent webmaster. The site loading velocity is incredible.
    It kind of feels that you’re doing any distinctive trick.

    Also, The contents are masterwork. you’ve performed a wonderful activity on this

  7. Do you have a spam problem on this site; I also
    am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation;
    we have developed some nice practices and we are looking to swap strategies with others, be sure to shoot me an email if interested.

  8. Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this blog.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very difficult to get
    that “perfect balance” between usability and visual appeal.
    I must say you have done a very good job with this. Additionally, the blog
    loads very fast for me on Safari. Outstanding Blog!

  9. Simply desire to say your article is as astonishing.
    The clearness in your post is simply excellent and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject.

    Fine with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated
    with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the rewarding work.

  10. I’ve been browsing on-line greater than three hours nowadays,
    yet I by no means discovered any interesting article like yours.
    It is beautiful worth sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all
    webmasters and bloggers made good content as you probably did, the net can be
    a lot more useful than ever before.

  11. It’s really very complicated in this full of activity life to listen news
    on Television, thus I only use internet for that reason, and take the most
    recent information.

  12. I think this is among the most important information for me.
    And i am happy studying your article. However should
    statement on few common things, The website style
    is great, the articles is in point of fact great : D.
    Just right task, cheers

  13. This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.

    I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking
    more of your fantastic post. Also, I have shared your website
    in my social networks!

  14. I do accept as true with all the concepts you’ve introduced
    for your post. They’re really convincing and will certainly work.
    Nonetheless, the posts are too short for novices.
    Could you please lengthen them a little from next time?

    Thank you for the post.

  15. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t
    appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say
    fantastic blog!

  16. With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues
    of plagorism or copyright infringement? My website has a lot of unique content
    I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it appears a
    lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my
    agreement. Do you know any methods to help prevent content from being ripped off?
    I’d really appreciate it.

  17. 352011 589730Properly written articles like yours renews my faith in todays writers. Youve written info I can lastly agree on and use. Thank you for sharing. 337288

  18. 38910 730652Admiring the time and energy you put into your blog and in depth info you offer. Its great to come across a blog every once in a while that isnt the same old rehashed material. Wonderful read! Ive bookmarked your web site and Im adding your RSS feeds to my Google account. 46675

  19. Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Extremely useful information specially the last part :) I care for such information a lot. I was looking for this certain information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  20. What i do not understood is in fact how you are now not really a lot more well-favored than you may be now. You’re so intelligent. You already know thus considerably in relation to this topic, made me in my opinion consider it from a lot of numerous angles. Its like men and women aren’t fascinated except it¦s one thing to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your personal stuffs nice. All the time take care of it up!

  21. With everything which seems to be developing throughout this specific area, your viewpoints tend to be somewhat refreshing. Having said that, I beg your pardon, because I do not give credence to your whole idea, all be it radical none the less. It looks to everybody that your comments are actually not entirely validated and in actuality you are your self not fully certain of your argument. In any event I did enjoy reading it.

  22. The following time I read a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I imply, I do know it was my option to learn, however I truly thought youd have one thing interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you would repair in case you werent too busy on the lookout for attention.

  23. Thank you, I have just been looking for info about this topic for a while and yours is the best I’ve discovered till now. But, what concerning the conclusion? Are you certain concerning the supply?

  24. Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the internet the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people consider worries that they just do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  25. I was suggested this blog by means of my cousin. I am
    not sure whether this post is written by way of him as nobody else understand such detailed approximately my
    trouble. You are amazing! Thanks!

  26. I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the page layout
    of your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to
    say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect
    with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 images.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

  27. Con más de 15 años de experiencia, nos hemos convertido en la empresa líder de reparación. Establecemos controles diarios de calidad, gracias a los cuales podemos presumir de ofrecer la mayor calidad en reparaciones en Torrevieja. Nuestros técnicos están especializados en la reparación de lavadoras BOSCH en Torrevieja de todo tipo. Nuestros técnicos están especializados en la reparación de lavavajillas BOSCH de todo tipo.

  28. Este problema es bastante común en zonas costeras con alta humedad porque se ha dejado demasiado tiempo la puerta de la nevera abierta, y se forma hielo en el conducto de retorno del aire que une las 2 partes refrigerador-congelador. Luego se resetea (desconectando del interruptor general de la casa, no vale solo del boton ON-OFF de la nevera), y se espera unos minutos a que vuelva a funcionar. Hola German, te esrcibi alla por el 24 de Diciembre 2011 y me contestaste el de Enero, hoy vino el tecnico y si aparemtemente es el damper tarjeta de control.

  29. Para nosotros es de vital importancia que nuestros clientes queden completamente satisfechos, por lo que le ofrecemos un servicio técnico Bosch en Madrid impecable tanto insitu como por teléfono, y por supuesto garantía por escrito. Nuestros operarios cuentas con una amplia experiencia y se encuentran en formación continua para afrontar cualquier tipo de reparación en cualquier electrodoméstico Bosch en cualquier equipo de aire acondicionado Bosch. Gracias a nuestro equipo de profesionales, tanto administrativos como técnicos, se coordinará una visita a su domicilio el mismo día de su llamada.

  30. En esta nueva propuesta, La madre del Capitán Garfio visita a su hijo con el firme propósito de cumplir su sueño. Un marciano en La Boca Primero llegaron los italianos, después los polacos, los gallegos, la niña huérfana y los niños traviesos. El estreno del Grupo Kukla Música Maestro” – Títeres, actores, teatro negro y efectos de láser y luz robótica. Mientras el alcalde y sus funcionarios esperan aterrorizados la visita de un inspector general. Todas las semanas se escuchará un disco diferente, en completísima oscuridad, mediante la tecnología holofónica de Hugo Zuccarelli La Holofonía llega más al cerebro que al oído. Tras un mes de uso se averio y tuve que recurir al mediocre servicio de asistencia.

  31. Hola me llamo Jose,vivo en los barrios, y el corte ingles mas cercano a mi casa es el de vez dicho esto,contar mi experiencia nefasta,hacia Mayo mi mujer me regala un Samsung Galaxy S4, el movil en un principio iba de fabula, hasta que empezo a dar problemas de reiniciacion. Bueno veo que no soy la única a la que toma el pelo el Corte Ingles, os resumo, después de un mes de avisos sigo si tener arreglado el aire acondicionado que les compre, que me instalaron ellos y que esta en garantía. Como empresa de reparacion de frigorificos, contamos con verdaderos profesionales, llevamos mas de 25 años dedicados a la reparacion de frigorificos en particular y electrodomesticos en general.

  32. A person necessarily assist to make critically articles I would state. That is the first time I frequented your web page and thus far? I surprised with the analysis you made to create this particular publish extraordinary. Fantastic job!

  33. HORNOS Siemens pone a su disposición una amplia gama de electrodomésticos de cocción, aportando nuestro granito de arena desarrollando hornos hasta 20 más eficientes que la clase A. los hornos BlueControl con unas altas prestaciones e integrándose en la cocina de manera perfecta. Las LAVADORAS con función de secado, se adapta a todas las necesidades con hasta 8kg de carga, tecnología y diseño. Facilitamos Garantías de 3 meses por escrito en todas y cada una de nuestras reparaciones.

  34. Contamos con una plataforma ‘home-center’, compuesta por un equipo capacitado para atender e informar al cliente de la evolución de su servicio en todo momento. El equipo se completa con dos técnicos para la reparación de aparatos de gama blanca y PAE, que trabajan directamente en nuestras instalaciones.

  35. Además, disponen de una gran selección de equipos de aire acondicionado y climatización, ofreciendo al cliente calidad y garantía de las mejores marcas y fabricantes. Solicite presupuesto sin compromiso para la instalación de bombas de calor, aire acondicionado, sistema contra-incendios, ventilación industrial, rejillas de ventilación, maquinaria de hostelería y frío industrial para su empresa.

  36. I’ve been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles
    or weblog posts in this sort of house . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled
    upon this web site. Studying this information So i am glad to
    convey that I’ve an incredibly good uncanny feeling I came upon exactly what I needed.
    I such a lot indubitably will make sure to don?t omit this web site and provides it a glance on a constant basis.

  37. Casquillo mecanizado por decoletaje en acero © Kuzu, S.L. Con la amplia variedad de materiales usados (aluminio, latón, cobre, aceros, PVC nylon) para la fabricación de nuestro diversificado catálogo de piezas, es necesario disponer de múltiples máquinas.

  38. La firma Europrecis Galicia, S.L., presente en el mercado mundial desde 1981, es conocida por el diseño y producción de maquetas para la industria del automóvil, utillaje para los sectores naval, aeronáutico, alimentario, solar y eólico, máquinas para la industria de la piedra y el mármol, mecanizado de precisión, y en general, todo tipo de máquinas especiales.

  39. For example, people sometimes design in millimeters and never follow through on their intention to convert the model to inches. Es por ello por lo que podemos asegurar que somos un referente en el sector de mecanizado de piezas dentro de la provincia de Sevilla.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here