One of the most significant actions to take in Networking is to make your intentions known. Are you there to meet new business contacts, gain referrals, generate leads or maybe 2 or all 3 of these? Although you are relationship building and the most important goal is to build a trusted connection with a fellow business professional, if you are looking for a specific referral – say a patent attorney for one of your clients – then verbalize these desires with the people you meet. Sometimes we can get caught up or overwhelmed by the amount of networking “work” we want to accomplish at a single event and forget about one of the main reasons we chose to attend (…patent attorney). It never hurts to ask: you may be surprised that the local sports equipment shop owner you met has a good college buddy well-known for his legal practice helping promising inventors.