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Skills of Good Networking

Planning
Develop a SMART objective (specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, time-bound). Develop detailed strategies to meet your objective. This becomes your action plan.

Research
Research various networking groups and associations to find out which ones will work for you. Research your contacts by asking them questions, so you will know with whom you are dealing. Research every possible opportunity. Keep your eyes and ears on the news, current events, and local developments.

Self Promotion
Promote yourself effectively. Understand your features and benefits (your strengths and how to use them) and learn how to express them. (SMILE and ASK infomercial).

Communications
Communicate effectively. Good communications are invaluable in any situation. Be articulate, concise, enthusiastic, honest, open. Use language with which you are comfortable but make sure it is powerful. Don’t forget the other side of communicating: listening. This is as important as speaking. Don’t make the mistake so many people do. Rather than listening, they spend their time thinking of the next thing they are going to say, thus taking virtually nothing in at all.

Think Creatively
Solve problems and maximize opportunities with innovative ideas. Rarely does an answer present itself in black and white. You have to assemble it, create it, and think it through.

Follow through:
Follow through on your commitments, both to yourself and others. A good referral or piece of advice only becomes activated into help when you follow it up.

Record keeping
Take full and accurate notes. Otherwise, you will never remember what you’ve committed to do. Keep lists, schedules, cross-referenced files. Write reminder notes about people you’ve met on the back of their business cards. Remember to keep your business cards in your right pocket and collected cards in your left pocket, this way you don’t give out someone else’s card.

Organization
Organize yourself: your thoughts, your notes, your files, your time. This takes time in the short run, but will save you tenfold in the long run. Use a good data base, organize by category and use codes for easy identification.

Teamwork
Work hard for others and the rewards will come back to you ten times over.

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