MAPLEWOOD, NJ -  Karen Q. Pisciotta, founder of KQ Consulting, spoke to members of the Maplewood Chamber of Commerce this week about how to maximize networking opportunities.


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As local business owners strive to build their networks and use every possible means to get the word out about their businesses, networking events and business card exchanges have become popular and frequent occurrences.   At the Chamber’s recent meeting, Pisciotta outlined strategies that can be used to get the most out of attending these events.


Before any given event, she suggests taking a hard look at who will be in attendance and decide if it will be worth the time and effort to go.  If it is, plan to bring plenty of business cards and collateral materials to distribute, and have a succinct, pre-planned, introduction that informs the people you meet about who you are and what your company does.


At the event, Pisciotta noted the importance of making notes on others’ cards detailing where and when you met, and what action items resulted.  She urges Chamber members to not worry about trying to meet everyone at a networking event, but to seek out specific types of people and make a few really good connections rather than many superficial ones.


In the days after a networking event, she said to email those with whom you would like to build a business relationship.  It is advisable to invite them to subscribe to any email newsletter you might offer, but not to enroll anyone from the event without their permission.  Ask for a future meeting if it makes sense for both parties.


There was much useful information discussed and the talk was warmly received by the Chamber members in attendance at this breakfast meeting held at St. James's Gate Publick House on Maplewood Avenue.


Pisciotta said that “KQ Consulting offers business owners both communications and financial consulting to help them define, build and grow their businesses.”  She added, “Some people with a great business idea jump in without having every aspect figured out, and I can help them with that.”