Networking is an essential skill that is required for most people in business because without an ongoing number of referrals and new contacts you have no business. If you are someone who is socially shy and lacks confidence in sales then networking provides the perfect platform in which to increase your customer data base and meet new contacts. There are many local and national associations that you can join and functions, trade shows and seminars are all organizations that will enable you to put your self in the path of other like minded business people who will be able to offer you support and guidance and possibly new customer referrals.

Networking is all about building relationships and offering advice and support so that you gain credibility with in your industry, for this reason it is important that you appreciate that its all about building relationships and gaining trust with other like minded people, networking is not about a sales pitch or viewing it as an opportunity to up sell your business, this is not good networking etiquette and could have a negative effect on your companies image. Before you attend any kind of networking event its important to prepare the groundwork and establish what your best network marketing opportunities are for that particular event, it may be that you simply want to make new business contacts or volunteer your services and offer advice or guidance to others, it’s also a good idea to know how many and what kind of contacts you want to make in the long run from your networking campaign.

As well as the more traditional form of making contacts, it is also important to focus on internet network marketing opportunities. In this technological age of information it is crucial that you don’t overlook this powerful networking tool. Social media sites such as My Space, blogs and Stumble Upon all offer great resources in which to actively partake in communities and forums in order to get your business message across to a large audience.

When thinking about your networking plan utilize the internet as much as possible, be proactive and attend as many functions as you can so that you build up a powerful data base of contacts, take business cards with you and wear a name badge so people will remember you. Overtime what you will find is that by getting yourself known within your industry and volunteering help and advice people will recognize you as a source of inspiration and recommend your services to others which will help to generate new leads and potentially new business.