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Finding Quality Leads Through Networking

One of the best ways to find quality leads for your business is through networking. Becoming active in high-profile organizations exponentially increases networking opportunities, builds your visibility, and helps enhance your reputation as an expert in your field.

Read on for some valuable networking strategies:

Pick and choose
In deciding which groups you or your top employees should become active in, the trick is to carefully pick and choose among the myriad organizations out there. Your time is valuable so focus on organizations that line up with your ideal target clients and power partners.

Do the research
To develop a list of groups that you want to become involved with, ask yourself which organizations your ideal clients belong to. What are the high-profile organizations in your industry, in your city? Take the time to do a survey of your clients and associates to find out what organizations they’re active in. These could be business, civic, professional, academic, and/or charitable and social organizations.

Pave the way
Once you have found the right groups, look to your personal contacts to help pave the way. Find out if any of your clients, business associates or friends are members; they can introduce you to their fellow members. They can also steer you to joining the committees that will help raise your profile in the organization.

Get active
To really increase visibility for you and/or your top employees, you need to get active! Activity can take many forms: panel participation, speaker opportunities, event sponsorship, committee chairmanships, and board memberships. Work your way up the chairs to the high-profile positions. Some committees will be more important than others in terms of raising your profile. Serving on the committee that selects conference panel topics, for instance, can give you the inside track on participating on a panel at a major conference.

Speaking engagements offer the opportunity to gain even greater visibility in your networking. To determine prospects for speaking engagements, research the conferences and major events in your industry. Locally, look for opportunities like the monthly sales luncheons held in local companies, monthly meetings of business and professional groups or community events.  Check out where your competition is speaking for ideas.

Use social media
For professionals, LinkedIn offers the opportunity for more frequent interaction with existing and potential clients than if you only saw them at a couple of events each year. Get back in touch with important contacts, collect a lifetime of business connections, and cultivate a strong base of referrals and prospects.

Faithfully using these networking strategies will lead to strong foundation of contacts to build your book of business...So get busy!