Having a good network is a vital resource for any business person. For many people networking is their primary source of business. Yet most people get very little benefit from their efforts. They attend networking events and collect dozens of business cards from people who are not qualified prospects. This feels like progress, perhaps it even feels like work, but unless these contacts are likely to become prospects it’s pretty much a waste of time.

As a result, this kind of networking yields modest results and is usually cover for a broken or non-existent marketing process.

To network effectively you have to fish where the fish are. Where are you likely to meet prospects for your business? What do you want them to do? Once you know the answer to these questions focus your attention on relevant venues where you can find people who can move you toward your goals.

When you find people you want to do business with, you had better not network with them, this is the time to start selling. Networking is far more passive and does not generally put bread on the table. Selling is understanding peoples problems and offering them a solution that they will pay you for.

If you confuse networking with selling you will almost certainly end up earning less than you should.