SCORE Small Business Blog

Leadership: Network Like a Pro

“I hate networking!” Get over it. Networking (be it actual or virtual) is the least expensive and most effective marketing tool for small business.

“But, I am too shy.” That’s actually best — shy people make great networkers since they spend most of their time listening.

Women love to talk and if you are sincere in listening to the focus of their companies and how they got into business, you are a big step closer to developing a client and a friend. We do business with people we know and love. By listening and using eye contact, you show you care about them and want to know more. After all, the point of networking meetings is to get to know people and build relationships.

What networking tips have you discovered?

-Betty Otte

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Discussion (8) Comment

  1. SCORE Blog AdminAdmin

    Didja get this???

  2. SCORE Blog AdminAdmin

  3. BettyVisitor

    Hi, Rachel: thank you for the tip on the website article. I know it will benefit many of us who resist networking as a marketing method.
    I read a book a long time ago by Floyd Wickman and Teri Sjodin called Mentoring – a Success Guide for Mentors and Proteges which, if still available would be helpful to read. Another great source is the website A large women’s networking organization that meets monthly in many locations across the US.
    They have a system called, Accelerated Networking which is very user friendly done in small groups.
    Good luck to you in your progress and thank you for being a good listener — I wish the world had more like you!

  4. Rachel ElliottVisitor

    Betty – I like your encouragement for those of us that are a little shy but good listeners. If I work a little harder to listen to someone, it makes it much easier to follow up with an educated question or two and then the networking experience becomes much less awkward. I just read an article on a great site,, about Networking Strategy ( As you do, it touches upon the mistaken impression that networking is an unpleasant experience, when actually it can be very informative and rewarding.

  5. Betty OtteVisitor

    Hi, Chitra: thank you for your tip. You are absolutely correct because I believe that ALL of business is relationship building. We do business with people we trust and don’t do business with people we don’t. Our instincts here play a big role. Sometimes we get fooled at the beginning of a relationship, but pretense can only last a short time. You are spot on trust must come before business.

  6. ChitraVisitor

    Hi, I like the way you have described networking as ‘building relationships’. My tip is to be absolutely honest about the business. The trust that you develop in your partners will pave the way for the growth of the business.


  7. BettyVisitor

    Hi, SolShine7: You are totally correct. Many times it helps to consider the fact you are not talking about yourself as much as you are talking about your dream or your company.
    It reflects the pride you have in your work (i.e. your company).

  8. SolShine7Visitor

    Good post! My tip would be don’t be afraid to be passionate about what you’re doing. If you’re not excited about your business then who will be?


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