Business Networking accounts for over 85% of business in the market place today. Networking is a word that is now widely and commonly used in most business environments. The big question though is this: how do you know if you are networking effectively? Networking is actually a life skill, not just something we do if we want something from someone. There are two main keys to successful networking: 1. Give freely. Remember these two principles: Give is Gain! and Givers Gain! Do things for others. Not just to get something back, but rather to help that person achieve their goals or solve their problems. In other words; give without hooks or expectations of something in return. 2. Think and act abundantly. Believe that there are plenty of opportunities (business and personal) for everyone. This is the basis of great networking. Some die-hard salespeople from the eighties - really struggle with giving without expectation. Why should they do something for someone when they know there is 'nothing in it for them?' Networking can actually generate more business and career opportunities than any advertising campaign could ever hope to achieve. Successful networkers believe in lifting the level of professionalism for their profession or industry. They usually achieve this by constantly exceeding peoples' expectations. They also believe in making the pie of success bigger for everyone in their sphere of influence. With an abundance mentality they are encouraged to cross network with competitors and regularly give referrals. Their business card becomes their form of introduction. "Hi, I'm Phil Evans", as they offer their card to you. Some people may find this method quite challenging as they attempt to break their own timid stand-back behaviour, and until the skill is learnt through practise, that is very understandable. However, how will someone ever be able to make contact with you if you don't give them that information when you first meet? Great networkers are generally great listeners. Two ears; one mouth: use them accordingly! They believe in having quality conversations and not quantity ramblings. They don't try to talk to everyone in a crowded networking event. What's the point? The conversations would only be shallow, brief and more than likely not memorable for either party. Quality conversations allow you to get to know a little more about the other person, build rapport and hopefully develop the foundation of trust. Trust is the basic functional glue that keeps networking together. People today want to do business with people they know, like and trust. Without trust, business activity rarely happens. A suggestion to help you with remembering who you have met, and some basic memory trigger details about them, is actually rediculously simple: make notes on their business cards. You might like to include where you met, and something that you remember about them of a personal nature: e.g. their hobby, favourite sport, names of family, pets, general interests. Successful networkers attend networking events at least once a week wherever possible. Rather than belong to a lot of networks and go to each of them occasionally, they belong to one or two and attend regularly. In that way, they become known as the 'Life Coach' or 'Financial Planner' for that group. It may take time to generate business however, every time they attend that group, they become more well known and their reputation grows. Remember this: Networking is all about relationships! In a successful networking world, it's not who you know, it's who knows you!