Good networking involves more than simple face-to-face meetings: Really skilled networkers not only take advantage of their own networks, but tap other people's networks as well.

Leveraging other people's professional relationships helps you find clients who move in different social circles. It's an idea that my partner and I used to build up our wealth management practice, Valley Wealth, based in Modesto, Calif., a region hit hard by the housing market bust. We launched our firm in 2008, when my partner and I left our jobs at a big brokerage. But during our first year, the firm grew slowly, gathering a mere $15 million in assets.

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