Understanding your clients is essential.
Networking can be a great way to research your clients.
This might be by attending general networking events or seminars, by having a catch up with contacts over a coffee or lunch or even more in-depth informational interviews. Conferences are also a great way to do research and have plenty of opportunities for networking.
Research will help you understand your client better and should always be included in your networking strategy. You can then use this research to help with your follow-up strategy and develop your relationships.