“Be confident in your networking, and always think long-term. Don’t discount someone as a contact because they may not be able to help you out immediately. Don’t run up to people demanding their assistance, either. Networking is a two-way street, and quite often it pays big dividends to be the person offering help, rather than the one asking for it. Make yourself useful to your contacts, start building a relationship, and then take things from there”
~ Derek Heck, Bootstrapping Blog
As a small business consultant, I’ve been able to help many clients and friends with their start-ups or established businesses, often offering tips that they never considered. While you are out networking, don’t be afraid to share a couple suggestions from your field of expertise. This establishes credibility and respect that demonstrates you know what you’re doing. Although this tactic doesn’t typically generate immediate leads, being helpful will come back around – you might be referred a client. This type of casual sharing also opens up the floor for you to ask a questions or brief advice from a connection in an area outside of your expertise whether it’s at the event or further down the road.
~Callann W, NYC SOUP coordinator