Even in an online world, offline networking is a crucial skill. Making meaningful connections with others in social settings can lead to marvelous business opportunities (if you grow them the right way). I think there are four skills that great offline networkers have developed.
1. They have a healthy self image. They view themselves in a positive light as a friendly, outgoing person. Because they see themselves this way, others see them as such, too. Their positive self image makes other people comfortable in unfamiliar settings. It also makes them comfortable as they meet new people.
2. They have a genuine interest in other people. Because they are truly interested in what others have to say, as well as stories other people tell about themselves, people are very open to them. This moment alone can create the most positive and beneficial relationships.
3. They have developed good memories. They are adept at remembering names and faces, as well as what the people they have met are all about. Their excellent memories allow them to recall who they know in relation to certain issues, markets and prospects. If this is a challenge, there are all kinds of tricks you can use (associating names and facial features, repeating a person's name...)
4. Finally, they have relaxed personalities. They never come on too strong or are overbearing. People who come on so strong tend to repel people, which is not the object of networking (nor is it the object of selling).
It's important to defeat negative attitudes you have toward networking. Only then can you capitalize on the benefits of creating meaningful relationships with people who stand to benefit from what you're offering!