By Kirsten Land
June 7, 2024

Intentional networking through relationships

The key to successful networking is building meaningful relationships. Learn how.

I’m often asked what the key to successful networking is, and my answer is always building meaningful relationships. Just like all relationships in your life, it takes effort and must be nurtured over time.

Being consistent and intentional with your interactions in your network is important to building a meaningful and beneficial relationship. There is a wise saying by Theodore Roosevelt, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

My late husband, Brian Land, was an excellent example of successful networking by creating and building lasting relationships with people. I saw firsthand how much he cared for the people he interacted with, and he found ways to help the people that he met.

He was a connector and took delight in helping others, even his competitors, get the resources they needed. I have tried to follow in his footsteps but with my own twist. Creating good relationships with people in your network requires three essential ingredients:

  1. Intentional interactions
  2. Listening
  3. Asking good questions.

Intentional interactions

Doing things with intentionality takes some thought and some preplanning too. When you attend a networking event, do you set a goal for who you want to meet, or do you show up looking for a friendly face or simply hanging out with people you already know?

Understanding your reason for attending the event will help you get the most out of your time. If your goal is to meet people who could be potential customers or referral partners, then taking some time to plan out those interactions will help you effectively reach your goal.


Learning to truly listen when another speaks takes practice and intentionality. It’s pivotal because it allows you the opportunity to learn about what is important to them. How does it make you feel when someone is truly listening or taking an interest in you? For me, it makes me feel valued and significant. I find that I have become more interested in them as well, and it starts to build rapport between us.

Most people feel valued when they are heard, and that builds trust between two people. When you take the time to listen, you can pick up on what is meaningful to them. This can enable you to find ways to add worth to their life by making an introduction to someone in your network, sharing a resource you have found helpful, or inviting them to an event you are attending. This also allows you to follow up with them after your initial meeting. You add value to them by making it about them, not yourself.

Asking good questions.

Listening also allows you to ask good questions so the person you are speaking with knows you are truly interested in what they are saying. Only talking about your business and its features and benefits can be a real conversation ender, as it may make the person feel like you are only talking to them to make a sale. This will break trust, and you may even notice that this person will not respond to your calls or emails.

Instead, asking a thoughtful question is an excellent conversation starter. Through a simple question, you may unearth common interests or a pain they are experiencing. This could open the door to future conversations and even the start of a new friendship.

Building a successful network takes time but is worth the effort. It all starts with being intentional. Intentional about the places you spend your time, whom you are speaking with, and most importantly, making it about others.

Just like the famous Zig Ziglar quote, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”

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About Kirsten Land

Kirsten Land is a longtime Edmond resident and business owner passionate about connection and service. Leading the charge at Land Enterprises Roofing after her husband's unexpected passing in 2019, Kirsten finds and conquers new leadership and businesses daily. In her free time, Kirsten enjoys spending time with her two boys, Evan and Daniel.