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Strengthening a network

How can I strengthen my networking connections? 
Here are 3 ways to make your existing and potential networking connections stronger:

1. Build quality relationships. Go beyond the normal business interactions with those from whom you want to be able to ask for support. Get to know these key people outside of the business environment whenever possible.

2. Think about where you can network to help build deep roots. Tried-and-true networking places include referral groups, networking mixers, social events and online networks. Remember, however, you must establish credibility with these people before you can expect them to help you in some way.

3. Make sure your focus is not, “what’s in it for me?” but rather, “what can I offer you?” This is perhaps the most powerful technique for deepening and widening your networks. You want to get to the point where your networking partners know you always have something to give them. Do what it takes to “earn” the help you might need to ask for down the road. 
Brain Trust contributor: Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder and Chairman of BNI and author of many books, including Truth or Delusion?and Masters of Success
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