We are all told that networking is the key to a successful business and there are a myriad of ways to do that. One of the easiest ways is at organizations such as Chambers of Commerce or Service Clubs.
I recently joined such an organization and sat next to a fellow who introduced himself as a marketing consultant. We exchanged cards and after the luncheon, as I always do, I sent an e-mail to him saying it was a pleasure meeting him and that I would refer business his way if I encountered someone needing marketing assistance. His e-mail would not go through. I tried his website and it was non-existent! It is likely I will never know who he is or have a desire to find out!
When networking, it is important that you are professional and present yourself authentically. It would have been better if he had either not handed out a card or had explained that the e-mail and website were under development.
One-to-one is still the most effective method of networking. Your smile, firm handshake and introduction with the presentation of your business card is powerful and can leave a lasting impression. You do not want that impression to be a negative one. Always carry your cards with you no matter where you are. You never know when you will meet someone who may need your product or services!
If you are reluctant to get out there and network, give some thought to getting some coaching as you will be missing out on potential business unless you do it.