Monday, March 31, 2008

Etiquette Tips for Online Networkers

By Cambridge Who's Who Contributing Author Chi Chi Okezie

Online networking is great tool for expanding your network and cultivating relationships with your existing contacts. For online networking to be beneficial for all parties involved, it is important to follow a few etiquette tips while establishing and maintaining business and personal relationships. People are most likely to do business with those whom they like, trust and respect. In order to create a good rapport with others, it is essential to conduct business in a professional manner. Business protocol is very easy and practical to achieve, and its rewards are powerful. This article is filled with helpful tips for establishing sound business relationships, treating your colleagues with respect and demonstrating professionalism while engaging in online networking.

#1: Follow up
An excellent way to build your credibility is to follow up in a timely manner and stay connected. Following up shows that you are focused and business minded in your endeavors. Failure to follow up can create gaps in communication that can hinder the progress on your online networking. It is also good to stay in contact with your business counterparts since you are communicating online and not seeing each other in person. You should not let an extensive amount of time lapse in your communication efforts. Even if you do not have any particular news to share, sending a quick message is always a good idea.

#2: Be Patient
When meeting people and conducting business over the internet, always exercise patience. Allow your business counterparts sufficient time to respond to your requests, comments, suggestions or questions. Being demanding or overbearing can appear aggressive or insensitive when conducting business or establishing relationships.

#3: Get Permission
No matter what you do or suggest, always ask for permission. It is a form of courtesy and consideration, which shows that you respect the other person's privacy. Asking permission in advance improves your credibility and trust factor especially when conducting business over the internet. Ask for permission to include your counterparts on an email listing or advertisement. If you would like to introduce them to potential customers or clients also ask for their permission before making a formal online introduction of the two parties. Also, make sure that it is OK to refer them to others with their direct contact information.

#4: Say Thank You
Using the phrase "thank you" and showing an appreciation for others' efforts is very important when conducting meaningful business. There are several creative ways of displaying a gracious attitude over the internet. You can close your message with a "thanks in advance" sentence or email a thank you e-card. Another great way of showing appreciation is by referring your business counterpart or creating awareness about their business to friends and colleagues. And follow up with them in regards to the progress of the professional or social endeavor in which they agreed to offer assistance. This is also a great way to stay connected with your business counterpart.

The above tips and suggestions will increase your professionalism and help you to develop strong and meaningful business relations. Remember that the key to successful online networking is to respect and show appreciation for your business counterparts.

Chi Chi Okezie joined Cambridge Who's Who in June 2007. Using the resources and networking tools available to her via Cambridge Who's Who membership, Chi Chi was able to receive additional exposure for her company on, including a feature in the Cambridge Business (CamBizTM) Directory, Announcements, Who's Who in the News and Cambridge Events sections. SIMPLEnetworking LLC will also be spotlighted in the Featured Business section of the upcoming Cambridge Who's Who e-newsletter, "Who's News."

Cambridge Who's Who applauds Ms. Okezie for taking full advantage of her Cambridge Who's Who member benefits and thanks her for the kind words about our services and staff that she submitted for the Cambridge Who's Who Success Stories website.

For more information on Chi Chi Okezie and SIMPLEnetworking, LLC, please view her contributing author profile.

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