I live in North Wiltshire with my wife, three children and amongst great friends. Community life revolves around the church, the school, the heritage society, the village hall, the golf club & the Pub! It's a great place to raise a family being removed from the hustle and bustle of city life, but not too far removed. Once a year life moves to the ski slopes of Europe.
When I first started my career in sales & marketing I did not consider myself a natural. I needed to find ways to generate results in order to progress my career. I learnt that time spent in building relationships first made work really enjoyable and effectively an extension of my social life! It also paid dividends and led to better long term results than those achieved by salespeople with a focus on transactions and short term results.
My expertise developed further through running Sales Teams, my own Mobile Phone Business and then several UK subsidiaries of European and Scandinavian Internet Companies. After the dot com crash I negotiated the sale of the UK subsidiaries to various parties and joined a small management consultancy as the partner leading internet, e-commerce and telecommunication projects for their client base and my own. It was whilst doing that we moved from London to Wiltshire.
Most of my clients were in London or other parts of Europe so I decided to try and meet business people locally. I found it very difficult to do that. The chamber or similar 'networking' events I attended were very hit and miss. I also found other groups that were only open to one person from a particular trade or profession. At the time I found that an odd idea as I was used to cooperating with competitors and others in complementary businesses. I knew that it would be amongst people doing similar things for similar businesses that I would find people like me.
In February 2004 I joined the new online network, Linkedin, and started referring business and getting business referred to me through the people I knew. It was still away from home though and when I told a friend he recommended a UK based network called Ecademy which he said had offline meetings too. When I found there was no regular meeting near me I started my own. That proved a great way of making connections locally and it was through those meetings that I met Martin Davies and Kim Sharman who were equally frustrated with local networking. They had decided to launch NRG for people like me!
I volunteered to help with organising certain aspects of the meetings and became CEO. Our aim was to create the network that we couldn't find. An environment where the owners, directors and partners of professional firms and service businesses could connect and build the right relationships for mutual business development and support. We developed the advocacy model of business networking through experience and research. The model takes you through the steps required for building your own advocate network and is at the core of everything we have done and continue to do. Our services are delivered through facilitated business networking groups, boardroom groups, and in house programmes.
If you want to discuss how you might improve your business development or are interested in developing the NRG business throughout the UK please get in touch. All my contact details are at daveclarke.tel or find me online at Google+, Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook: