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Moving From Networking to Selling

Networking can be key to creating sales opportunities. Here's how to make the moves.

This story appears in the November 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

There's nothing wrong with networking. Business owners, no matter how busy they are, should do it everywhere, all the time. But one of the best ways to network is through "bridging," a strategy that helps you build a foundation of contacts sure to provide you with sales opportunities now and in the future.

What is bridging? It's connecting two people who have potential value to each other and having faith that, eventually, the bridge will lead back to you. For example, I set up a phone meeting between the president of a large advertising business and the vice president of a national media company. I brought two of my key contacts together because I knew they could help advance each other's business goals and, in the end, help me with my business goals as well.

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