Last month Treeline and The University of Massachusetts Club, Boston, joined forces and put on a trivia night. The event was held 33 floors up in the State Street Bank Building overlooking Boston. The focus of the evening was providing a fun alternative to your typical networking night.

Networking is essential for any business professional. Frequently, sales are developed through the quality relationships we build and nurture. It is not enough to simply attend an event and gather as many business cards as possible.

Here are 5 strategies to make networking profitable:

1. Chose the right networking group or event. The best results come from attending the appropriate netwrking events for your particular industry.

2. Focus on quality contacts versus quantity. Make between two and five new contacts at each networking meeting you attend. Focus on the quality of the connection and people will become much more trusting of you.

3. Make a positive first impression. You have EXACTLY one opportunity to make a great first impression. Factors that influence this initial impact are your handshake, facial expressions, eye contact, interest in the other person and your overall attentiveness. Comment on their business. Once you have demonstrated interest in someone else, they will – in most cases – become more interested in you.

4. Be able to clearly state what you do. Develop a ten second introduction as well as a thirty second presentation. The introduction explains what you do and for whom.

5. Follow up after the event. The follow-up is the most important aspect of networking.

Effective networking works. The more people that know about you and your business, the greater the likelihood they will work with you or refer someone else.

Stay tuned for information on our next event.

Kelley, Robertson. "How to Profit From Networking." Entrepreneurs – Starting and Running Your Own Business. Web. 25 Apr. 2011. <>.