Networking is one of the best ways to add to your arsenal of professional contacts, helping you to gain new leads and ultimately land sales. Whether you’re attending a large industry conference or a more informal mixer, striking up conversations with like-minded individuals is a tried-and-true method for finding new opportunities and, because face-to-face meetings are more personal in nature, can give you an edge over the competition. You might even make a few new friends in the process! As important as networking is, it doesn’t come naturally to a lot of people, who might be apprehensive about talking to strangers. Developing a strategy in advance will help improve your networking skills and ensure a successful event. In no time at all, you’ll look forward to the opportunity to meet new people!