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It can be tough to home in on the best connections when building your network. This is a dilemma we’ve faced from time to time around the Tri State Sports office, but we’ve found the following strategies helpful in identifying the right contacts.

The first thing we consider is whether or not we can have mutually beneficial connections with the people we meet. If there aren’t immediate benefits to be gained or given, we might wait on forging a deeper bond. When there are enough shared interests and experiences to justify a more serious bond, we’re more likely to go for it.

When it comes to choosing the right networking events to attend, we use an especially insightful trick. We simply ask ourselves, if the event were held today, would we make time to attend? If we answer in the affirmative without hesitation, we know it’s something we need to pursue. Any delay in our decisions tells us that we can probably miss it.

We also lean toward specific invites rather than general requests to meet for coffee. If there isn’t a clear reason to meet someone, along with obvious potential for us to help each other, it’s better to use our time more wisely. We remember this same point when we send invitations to connect, always putting our Tri State Sports goals forward early in our messages.

These strategies help us move forward with the most beneficial connections.