Tracy Wilson, Director, Membership You are challenged to build better professional relationships, but how? Be selective. Be selective of which networking events you participate in, be selective of who you interact with and be selective of your topics of discussion. Be strategic without alienating. How you ask? By being selective. [caption id="attachment_1906" align="alignleft" width="300"] Business After Hours[/caption] Understand who will be attending the various events you sign up to attend. Who can you anticipate meeting at this function? What would be deemed of value that you could share with them in 60 seconds or less? And it doesn't have to be about your business. By giving some thought to these items prior to the event, you will be more strategic in your networking efforts. Plus, you will be perceived as a more valuable contact for those that you interact with. Network with a purpose -- the purpose of building a better community, perhaps providing a better business environment and most definitely building your own business. What business person do you know that would not relate to at least one of these areas and perhaps even claim them as one of their own? Once you have identified a common cord, then you are ready to team up. But be warned, don’t be creepy! One essential ingredient to building a professional network is to be the kind of person other successful people want to be around. Build a valuable network, not necessarily a colossal one. Pay attention to what this select group has to say, what they care about and what they are interested in. Learn to listen and ask questions while being sincere. To get tips on how to do all of this more successfully, I invite you to Return on Relationships on October 9. At Return on Relationships, you will explore ways to maximize your time and efforts to become more successful at Chamber networking events. Led by Clint Babcock of Sandler Training, Clint will help you understand how to position yourself and your business to improve your professional relationships. Click here to learn more. [caption id="attachment_1899" align="alignright" width="300"] After 5 Networking Event[/caption] At the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, we like bringing smart, successful business people together. It is fun and it’s interesting, and we all learn from the connections that are ignited. Don’t get me wrong, building relationships isn’t always easy. Building better business relationships takes hard work and patience. What about you? Have you ever made a business connection that changed the way you view business? Tell us about it by replying below. See you soon!