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Business Networking

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Business Networking

Business Networking

Image (c) Nick White / Getty Images

Definition:

Business networking is the process of establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with other business people and potential clients and/or customers.

Notice that I don't say anything about meeting people in this definition; the ever-increasing slew of business networking meet-and-greet events have given business networking a bad name.

The key to true business networking is the establishment of a mutually beneficial relationship, and that's an incredibly rare event at the standard shake-hands-and-exchange-your-business-card events that are touted as business networking "opportunities".

The purpose of business networking is to increase business revenue - one way or another. The thickening of the bottom line can be immediately apparent, as in developing a relationship with a new client, or develop over time, as in learning a new business skill.

The best business networking groups operate as exchanges of business information, ideas, and support. The most important skill for effective business networking is listening; focusing on how you can help the person you are listening to rather than on how he or she can help you is the first step to establishing a mutually beneficial relationship.

See Business Networking and 22 Networking Tips for more information.

Also Known As: Networking.

Common Misspellings: Netwokring.

Examples: Jim learned a lot about how to improve his customer service through his business networking group.

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