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Go ahead, skip that networking event

Networking provides opportunities for personal and professional growth. And the more diverse your network, the more opportunities you'll have. Yet despite the advice to attend as many relevant networking events as possible, many of us still avoid them. And it isn't just the introverts among us who find them uncomfortable. Most of us default to our comfort zone and fail to maximise our time at these events, says David Burkus. Here, he shares why networking events are doomed to failure "by their v...
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How to make networking less painful

Most entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals agree that networking is the best way to cultivate business relationships. For those who thrive on attending networking events, they can be an incredibly productive way to gain new clients, find new employees, create strategic partnerships, and make lasting friendships. For those who dread them, networking events can make feel awkward and uncomfortable. And while it can be especially challenging for introverts, even the most extroverted peopl...
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7 effective ways to initiate and cultivate business referrals

Referrals are one of the best ways you can grow your business. When satisfied clients refer other people to your business, it creates instant trust for your brand. And the new clients you gain become just as loyal and create more referral opportunities for you. "The easiest way to establish a solid referral business is to make sure our current customers or clients feel important and well taken care of when working with us," writes Sherrie Campbell. Here, she shares some top tips on how to enhanc...
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How to backtrack on a promise to a client (without losing their trust)

 Any time you fail to meet a customer's expectations—whether they're stated in a contract or implied—you're breaking a service promise. And broken promises can damage your credibility and the company's reputation. Things can go wrong from time to time however and, even though it may not be your fault, you may find yourself having to go back on a promise. The key is how you work with the customer to resolve the problem and make sure it doesn't happen again. Here, Alyse Kalish share...
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Networking isn’t just about networking

Making the right connections is vital for growing your business, whether you're looking to build relationships with clients, contacts, or mentors. Networking is a skill anyone can learn and, like any other skill, the more you practice the better you get. It's not just about getting out and meeting people, however. You need to "look at the whole picture, what is done outside networking as well as what we do at the events themselves," says author and business networking expert Stefa...
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7 counterintuitive networking hacks you probably aren’t using

A diligent approach to networking is invaluable for helping you achieve your business or career goals. For those who enjoy socializing and find it easy to make conversation with people they've just met, networking comes naturally. Those who dread introductions and making small talk however, find networking daunting and uncomfortable. Networking doesn't always mean having to attend events, present an elevator pitch and collect business cards, however. After all, it isn't about collecting people; ...
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Top 10 professional life hacks

Time is our most valuable resource and we all get the same 24 hours in each day. If there never seems to be enough time to complete everything on your to-do list, you need to consider how wisely you're using your time. Effective time management helps to reduce work-related stress by giving you greater control over your activities and boosting your productivity. It also gives you more time for nurturing business relationships and acting on opportunities that will help you achieve your person...
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7 factors you can address to boost trust in your business relationships

Building and maintaining positive relationships is crucial to the success of your business. Apart from creating good relationships with your customers or clients, you may want to forge relationships with potential business partners or investors. And the most powerful component of any relationship is trust. Doug and Polly White identify here the seven situational factors you'll need to address if you want to improve your own trust level. They also share three case studies—from  their wo...
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Looking to be more likeable? Start by ditching the “golden rule”

Likeability is a major factor for success at work and in business. People prefer to do business with people they like and likeability has a lot to do with how you interact with others. This is why forming and nurturing genuine relationships is such an important aspect of growing your business or advancing your career. Networking is often the first step towards building successful relationships and while the connections you make are often superficial at first, they can deepen the more you interac...
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How to impress your boss in 7 seconds

A first impression is the most important impression you'll ever make—and you get only one chance to make it. Within the first few minutes of meeting someone for the first time, that person forms an opinion of you. Whether they're accurate or not, these first impressions can be almost impossible to change and they set the tone for the relationship that follows. First impressions are especially important when it comes to job interviews, meeting your new manager, or visiting a client for the first ...
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