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Networking Pay OffNetworking is considered the most cost-effective way for small businesses to gain visibility and attract business. Networking is 7 times more likely to generate new business than all other methods of marketing.

Here are some ways to make your networking pay off.

Be selective about the organizations you join and decide to be an active member. Don’t make the mistake of paying for a membership and then never showing up!

It’s impossible to network while the meeting is in progress, so arrive early and circulate. Make it a goal to meet a certain number of people at every meeting. If you show up just to have lunch, you are wasting your precious time. The objective is to build relationships with people who can do business with you or refer business to you.

Build relationships — and a good way to do that is to remember past conversations. Ask good questions about what you learned in those past exchanges. Be sincere in your interest and avoid being seen as an opportunist.

Be known as someone who follows up. A lead or referral goes nowhere without follow-up action. Keep your referral givers in the loop and remember always to say, “thank you”.

Help others to be successful. When others win, you win!

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