Networking in business is a way to establish relationships with other business people that can be mutually beneficial in obtaining potential customers. Effective networking brings people together to learn about one another and the business they provide.

Many businesses offer opportunities to network in the form of meetings, conferences, trade shows, webinars and seminars. It’s important to attend when you are able and to make contacts. You can benefit by obtaining new clients and getting referrals. It is important to follow up on any referrals as these are possible new future clients. When meeting people be sure to get names and write important messages down so that you can refer to these when you get back with an individual that you met. Be sure to have solid communication in regards to your product or service. Know what you are looking for and how others may be of help to you. Also, be prepared to help others and problem solve when you can. Social media communication such as Facebook, Linkedin and twitter can be great ways to connect however face to face is the preferred method when possible.

In order to maintain business relationships, you will need to regularly stay in communication with customers. I have always found it important to visit or call my customers even though it may be awhile since I have transported material for them. They are more likely to remember me when they have a need.

Some people hesitate or are not comfortable with attending networking events. I have grown in my communication with others and have developed skills that have benefited me from being active in attendance. Participating and showing up at events has helped me gain opportunities within the industry. Getting together with other industry professionals allows you to gain knowledge in order to operate your business more efficiently. You can learn a lot by speaking with vendors and your peers. Some issues to stay on top of within our industry include: tires, brakes, truck specifications, lubricants and much more.

These along with additional networking opportunities help you to keep your cutting edge of operational efficiency and profitability.



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Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/Tâ„¢, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

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