One of the best ways of inexpensively marketing your business is networking with other professionals. Networking with other business leaders enables you to get to know your prospects and they get to know you as a person. The truth is that people are far more likely to do business with someone they know than a stranger.

Unfortunately many business owners shy away from networking opportunities because of fear—fear of rejection or shyness. Sure the business owner may be perfectly comfortable behind his/her desk but put them in a room with other professionals and they become very shy and anxious.

Let me confess. I know, I was there. My first networking experience was nearly twenty years ago at a late afternoon function promoted by the Eastern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce in Red Bank, NJ. Yes, I walked in the networking room, sheepishly walked across the room, and manuvered around groups of others engaged in conversation. I no idea as to what to say to anyone so I never considered joining in any conversation. I noticed everyone engaged in conversation and within five minutes quickly made my way out of the meeting and back to my castle of comfort at my office.

I'm sure glad that I didn't let that poor experience determine my future. I don't remember my second meeting but apparently it went better because since then I've gone to hundreds of networking meetings. I've met many customers and have become a customer of many local businesses. Often times I take others and help make their networking successful as I introduce them to those that I know.

Eight tips to avoid disaster in networking meetings with some of the following basic tips.
1. Expect to find that mostly everyone will be engaged in conversation and that there will not be anyone to greet you and introduce you to others.
2. Move towards the refreshments for there you will often find someone who is alone for the moment and not engaged with conversation.
3. From the refreshment area scope out the room and notice anyone else who is looking to meet someone.
4. Having a glass of something to drink in one hand is great—it's a crutch for at least you are doing something. Later as you become accustomed to meeting others, you can dispense with the crutch if you so choose.
5. As you approach someone, always make a conscious effort to smile and simply say, "hello." Let me emphasize smile--a genuine smile.
6. Until you develop the finer techniques of conversation you can make it easy by staying with the obvious. The obvious is to ask the other person what it is that they do. You can follow up telling them about your business if you choose or you can keep the emphasis on them. When you feel comfortable, talk about what you do. The goal here is to simply get comfortable speaking about your business. Later on you can develop the skills of intrigue and giving your 30 second elevator pitch.
7. Always remember to breathe slowly and deeply and keep your muscles relaxed.
8. Stay away from sugar and sweets as they can produce anxiety.

In the years that I've been networking, I've probably gained one hundred customers. Networking is where I found my ITT man, my health insurance specialist, the alert necklace for my elderly mother, my investment banker, supplier of promotional items like wine totes, umbrellas, chairs, and so on. It's also where I find customers for my best gutter guards to protect their homes and can talk up my self help mp3 downloads.

Author's Bio: 

Richard Kuhns B.S.Ch.E. NGH certified has a diverse background. He has produced self help mp3 downloads at that can help you relax and overcome shyness so you can attend the best networking in Monmouth County
He also invented and manufactures the best gutter guard system at that makes gutters self cleaning.