The art of effective networking is to make friends

There are lots of blogs out there on networking and how to network effectively. A few months ago I posted a blog on this subject: How to ensure that your firm is best represented by your junior fee earners at networking events.

In this blog post I want to emphasise the importance of using networking to make contacts and in time, friends. This applies to anyone who is networking, at any level within an organisation.

People do business with people they know, like and trust. This is even more true when you are selling a professional service, which is very much relationship based. Networking is a great way to start building key contacts and in time these relationships will, in some shape or form, yield work.

When you meet someone face-to-face in an informal environment you get the opportunity to work out whether you really want to work with them, way before you’ve got to the selling stage. The one client I obtained through a formal pitch process, who I hadn’t met prior to the pitch, turned out to be one of the most difficult clients I have had to date and ended up not going anywhere.

I’m not suggesting that networking should be your only form of marketing/business development but it should certainly play a part in your marketing mix.

We all know the old adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” so get out there and get to know some more people!

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