In the days before the world of the Internet and online marketing, the only real, reliable way to meet new sales prospects and build meaningful connections in the professional world was to go out and network with others. Today, this type of in-person networking seems old-fashioned, even though social media networking on sites like LinkedIn has served as a soft replacement for this approach to meeting new people--for those who pursue the strategy at all.

But even in today's world of instant information and global connectivity, networking is an important--and effective--way to meet new people in the professional world, and the modern masters of the art have a few secrets to getting it done right:

They use both in-person and social networks.
They don't repeat themselves much.
They have a fantastic opening line for everything.
They meet everyone, everywhere.
They make themselves memorable.
They keep in touch.
They genuinely listen.

Whether you're in it to find new prospects, recruit new employees, expand your professional network, or just get to know some people a little better, I highly recommend integrating these strategies into your networking approach. You'll meet more people, establish more meaningful connections, and ultimately get closer to your goals--no matter what those goals are.