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Networking in business. No, not the computer networking, but the friendship networking. We’re not talking buddy-buddy friends. We’re talking someone you can pick up the phone and call when you need something done NOW. This is how people become successful, they network. There are many important things to know about networking in order to be successful.

The first step of making a new… well we’ll call it “business acquaintance”, is of course, meeting them! Typically an old social friend will introduce you, and your title, to the prospect. This is the most important part, first impressions are vital. Make sure to explain what the business is that your starting and what exactly your role in the company is. Then show some interest in the other person. Find out exactly how helpful they can be.

If you are still interested, invite them out to a lunch, keep the lunch completely social. Become this person’s friend! Well, you sort of do want to be their friend, but you also need them. Introduce your new acquaintance to some of your other friends, bring them into your social life. When you hold special dinners, make sure they are invited.

Keep in touch with this new acquaintance, periodically phone them to give them seemingly useless information, just so they know you have not dropped off the face of the earth. Also if possible, do favors for them, so they owe you one.

Now, if the time ever comes that you need something from this person, you can just pick up the phone and carefully ask. Remember to end the conversation with “I owe you one.” Attempt to make as many “business acquaintances” as possible. You never know when you might need a favor.