I’ve talked about some foolproof excuses to reach out to your network, but where do you go to make new contacts?
You don’t have to attend every Chamber of Commerce meeting to establish—or reinforce—valuable connections. Here are 10 proven networking methods that will help yield high-quality clients and relationships for years to come:
1. Your former employer
You didn’t tell them to take that job and shove it when you left, did you? A surprising number of successful consultants (including yours truly) retained their former employer as their first client. If you’re a consultant because you were recently laid off, or if you haven’t talked to your former colleagues in a while, don’t be afraid to reach out and offer your services to help the poor, overburdened folks still there trying get the work done.
2. People you once worked with
Don’t neglect those who were “junior” when you worked with them. The recession prompted many companies to find creative ways to reward less-experienced (but eager) employees who remained at the company. Those less seasoned may now have more decision-making authority.