Take the right approach to networking
Networking events allow salespeople to scout for customers, but instead of collecting as many business cards as they can, your salespeople should set a more promising goal: Get to know just three people. Tell them to find out everything they can about their three contacts without trying to sell anything up front, and use that knowledge when they call back later. They may not meet as many people at every event, but those they do get to know will be better sources of sales and referrals.
—Adapted from “The 10 commandments of networking,” by Mark McGregor, on About.com