It is important that you have goals in mind when building relationships. Otherwise, you will will forget your reasons for networking in the first place.
Take the time to think about who you want to meet. Once you figure this out, then think about the best ways to meet these people. Should you attend events? Should you ask for referrals from your network? Should you reach out to people on LinkedIn?
Whatever you decide, put a plan in place so you can efficiently maximize your time and the time of others. Think about how many events you want to attend. Think about who in your network can make an introduction. LinkedIn is a great tool to make this happen.
Work on improving how you interact with others. Should you interact weekly, montlhy, or quarterly? What ways can you improve? Seek out performance management tips to guide you in your decisions and thought processes. By understanding how to evaluate your performance, you can set and measure your goals.
Before you ask for an introduction, put some thoughts together as to why you would like the introduction. This will help your contact to make a quick introduction. With a good introduction, you are mostly likey to get a meeting.
Spend the time setting networking goals so you can see a return on your efforts. It is worth the time and effort planning ahead.