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Dave Scott is the CEO and Founder of Marketfish, creator of innovative list marketing technology. Prior to founding this technology start-up, Dave served as vice president of global marketing and strategy at Intermec, Inc. (NYSE:IN), where he was named “CMO of the Year” in 2006. Scott also served as the vice president of marketing and strategy for the global services division of PeopleSoft, Inc., which was acquired by Oracle.Josh Hinds: How do you define Business Networking and why do you feel it's important? Dave Scott: To me, business networking is another way to say “word of mouth” marketing. It’s a way to promote your services or what you do to others within your network, or circle of acquaintances. It’s the oldest form of marketing and the most reliable. First of all, the return on investment (ROI) is great because all it costs is your time. Second, no one can sell the value of the business better than you. Josh Hinds: Can you give a few ideas that someone could put into practice which would help them to improve their business networking skills? Dave Scott: Get out there and mingle. Every event you attend, from a networking event to a happy hour, has the opportunity to bring you business. I’ve found leads in the weirdest of places – alumni events, Cub Scout dinners, even the gym. Josh Hinds: Based on your experiences, which places and activities have you found best for meeting new people and expanding your professional network (either online or offline)? Dave Scott: The most important thing to realize is that, even if you don’t yet have the budget for a huge annual convention or trade show, there are still many great networking opportunities. Your local networking opportunities provide a perfect opportunity for finding clients and business partners right in your area. In Seattle, we have a Seattle Direct Marketing Association. This is a perfect place to get in touch with my target customer without having to weather a huge annual convention or trade show. Online opportunities provide equally great networking opportunities for businesses of all stripes. LinkedIn has many professional groups who have interesting discussions about your industry, as do Facebook and Yahoo Groups. Just dive in!Josh Hinds: Can you share a personal networking success story with us? Dave Scott: I belong in Rotary, the ultimate in business networking locations. At a meeting I sat next to a friendly gentlemen and started chatting about traveling, the weather, and service above self. When I explained that I wanted to start a company – Marketfish – he revealed that he was an angel investor and startup lawyer. It’s been a beautiful marriage ever since.- Yours in networking success, Josh Hinds(Connect with me on Facebook or Twitter)*brought to you by BusinessNetworkingAdvice.com

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