Lisle, IL – Though we’ve come to rely more and more on technology to conduct business, a fundamental truth remains: our economy is based on trust. You can’t develop meaningful, mutually beneficial business relationships simply being someone’s LinkedIn connection, Facebook friend or Twitter follower. Effective networking requires time, care and commitment.
“Networking isn’t something you can do passively and expect results,” says Lillian Bjorseth, founder of networking skills company Duoforce Enterprises. “Networking is a participatory sport. It’s a contact sport.”
Bjorseth is the author of Breakthrough Networking: Building Relationships That Last, designed to help readers discover their networking style and improve their face-to-face networking skills.
“I really want to help people understand what networking is and what it isn’t,” says Bjorseth. “My definition is it’s an active, dynamic process that links people into mutually beneficial relationships to build social capital.”
When attending networking events, you have a very small window to make a first impression; you need to be mindful of what your appearance and behavior say about you. Breakthrough Networking: Building Relationships That Last also teaches you how to develop your “verbal business card” and what to do before, during and after a networking event.
“Imagine you’re fishing; you have your hook and line, but you’re missing one important thing: the bait,” explains Bjorseth. “The verbal business card is the bait. It’s what reels people in to want to talk with you.
“Networking is planting seeds: you have to cultivate the seeds and pull out the weeds,” says Bjorseth. “Solid relationships are like oak trees with roots as wide as the tree is high.”
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