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Business Networking Blog

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Top ten posts from the business networking blog

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The home of the business networking blog was on blogger until early this year. The full 5 year archive of posts with business networking tips, hints, advice and stories is now here.

 

In case you missed any of them below are links to the 10 most popular posts on the business networking blog in 2010. 

 

1. The quality of your network really matters
https://www.nrg-networks.com/blogs.php?blog=60
2. Be careful not to leave too early
https://www.nrg-networks.com/blogs.php?blog=67
3. Are you talking enough with the people you already know?
https://www.nrg-networks.com/blogs.php?blog=57
4. Is there a right time to leave a networking group?
https://www.nrg-networks.com/blogs.php?blog=65
5. Your network is the biggest asset in your business
https://www.nrg-networks.com/blogs.php?blog=58
6. The same rules apply for online and offline Word of mouth
https://www.nrg-networks.com/blogs.php?blog=62
7. Do you nurture your network like a good garden?
https://www.nrg-networks.com/blogs.php?blog=51
8. Why does Word of Mouth Marketing work so well?
https://www.nrg-networks.com/blogs.php?blog=61
9. Are you networking with the right people?
https://www.nrg-networks.com/blogs.php?blog=630
10. Are you building strong ties with your network?
https://www.nrg-networks.com/blogs.php?blog=624

1. The quality of your network really matters

2. Be careful not to leave too early

3. Are you talking enough with the people you already know?

4. Is there a right time to leave a networking group?

5. Your network is the biggest asset in your business

6. The same rules apply for online and offline Word of mouth

7. Do you nurture your network like a good garden?

8. Why does Word of Mouth Marketing work so well?

9. Are you networking with the right people?

10. Are you building strong ties with your network?

 

Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 14:46:50, 07 Mar 11
Tags: quality networking,Networking Tips,Business Networking Techniques,Word of Mouth,Online Networking,Social Networking
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Networking on Purpose
In a recent conversation with Sarah Owen of the Referral institute I asked her if she could share some networking advice. Sarah and her colleagues are experts in training people to gain business through their network from referals.
1. What is your approach to networking?
My approach to networking is to go 'on purpose'. To have a strategy for what I am aiming to achieve at 3 levels:
i. How can I help others?
ii. How can I best honour the event?
iii. What are my personal goals. 
2. How much experience do you have of formal networking? 
I started formally networking in 1984 in an employed role at Mappin and Webb – the Queen’s Silversmiths.
3. What advice would you have for someone new to networking? 
I would advise such a person to:
i. Have a clear idea of the goals you want to achieve by using networking and a simple plan to achieve the result you want
ii. Never do it alone! Always take someone with you or attend with someone you know – it is more fun!
iii. Make sure that you are participating in something which is aligned to your values and which suits your style
iv. Research before you go about what objectives the event claims to have, who is going to be there, what you can expect
v. Be yourself and relax
vi. Don’t do too much networking – find what you like and stick to it – (don’t scatter gun)
vii. Don’t sell – no one came to buy!
viii. Focus on how you can help others and be clear how they can help you back – give first
ix. Don’t forget to look at your own network – often just as useful as meeting a lot of new people and starting from scratch
x. Follow up and track everything so in one year’s time you will have a clear idea of where to network and with whom
Thanks to Sarah for sharing and I would add that someone new may well want to seek out professional training from experts like Sarah and her colleagues at www.referralinstitute.co.uk.

In a recent conversation with Sarah Owen of the Referral institute I asked her if she could share some networking advice. Sarah and her colleagues are experts in training people to gain business through their network from referals.

 

1. What is your approach to networking?
"My approach to networking is to go 'on purpose'. To have a strategy for what I am aiming to achieve at 3 levels:

i. How can I help others?

ii. How can I best honour the event?

iii. What are my personal goals."

 

2. How much experience do you have of formal networking? 
"I started formally networking in 1984 in an employed role at Mappin and Webb – the Queen’s Silversmiths."

 

3. What advice would you have for someone new to networking? 
"I would advise such a person to:
i. Have a clear idea of the goals you want to achieve by using networking and a simple plan to achieve the result you want

ii. Never do it alone! Always take someone with you or attend with someone you know – it is more fun!

iii. Make sure that you are participating in something which is aligned to your values and which suits your style

iv. Research before you go about what objectives the event claims to have, who is going to be there, what you can expectv. Be yourself and relax

vi. Don’t do too much networking – find what you like and stick to it – (don’t scatter gun)

vii. Don’t sell – no one came to buy!

viii. Focus on how you can help others and be clear how they can help you back – give first

ix. Don’t forget to look at your own network – often just as useful as meeting a lot of new people and starting from scratch

x. Follow up and track everything so in one year’s time you will have a clear idea of where to network and with whom."

 

Thanks to Sarah for sharing and I would add that someone new may well want to seek out professional training from experts like Sarah and her colleagues at www.referralinstitute.co.uk.

Referral Institute Programme - Referrals for Life

 

Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 13:18:42, 01 Mar 11
Tags: Referrals,Business Networking Techniques,Networking Tips
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Making Friends in Business

 

I have just returned from a week skiing in the French Alps on what is now the annual #Netski trip organised by Warren Cass www.warrencass.com. The party was made up of 20 business people who have become friends through organised networking. This year they included leaders from 4networking www.4networking.biz, Business-Scene www.business-scene.com, Directors Centre http://www.directorscentre.co.uk, Ecademy www.ecademy.com, Tax Advice Network www.taxadvicenetwork.co.uk and NRG-networks www.nrg-networks.com. 
In the organised networks we run we help business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs to develop business through networking. This works if you focus on building relationships first with the right people. Do the right things and business follows. Nobody on the skiing trip was selling to each other yet business was done and referred. Relationships first, business second.
I overheard a conversation between one of our party and someone else on a lift. The other person had asked what organised business networking was all about. After the reply he said, "I see, you're in the friends making business."
Friends are people you know well and like. They show loyalty, affection and offer help and support. All things that you need in running your business!
Friends first, business second.
Good Networking!
Dave Clarke http://www.nrg-networks.com/index.php?alias=dave

I have just returned from a week skiing in the French Alps on what is now the annual #Netski trip organised by Warren Cass. The party was made up of 20 business people who have become friends through organised networking. This year they included leaders from 4networking, Business-Scene, Directors Centre , Ecademy , Tax Advice Network  and NRG-networks 


In the organised networks we run we help business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs to develop business through networking. This works if you focus on building relationships first with the right people. Do the right things and business follows. Nobody on the skiing trip was selling to each other yet business was done and referred. Relationships first, business second.


I overheard a conversation between one of our party and someone else on a lift. The other person had asked what organised business networking was all about. After the reply he said, "I see, you're in the friends making business."


Friends are people you know well and like. They show loyalty, affection and offer help and support. All things that you need in running your business!


Friends first, business second.


Good Networking!

Dave Clarke 

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 11:58:33, 08 Feb 11
Tags: Business Networking,Social Networking,How Networking Works,Business Networking Techniques
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Do you know where you are starting from?

Over the last week or so my inbox has been full of well meaning advice about goal setting and new year resolutions. The same topics have seemed to dominate on blogs and social media. One thing has been missing from a lot of what I have read - the importance of knowing where you are starting from. You may be a lot nearer to your goals than you think. One of the common mistakes people make when building a business network is thinking that it is all about making new contacts. Don't forget the people who already know, like, rate and trust you.

 

I shared some tips on how to identify the people already in your network in a short podcast that you can listen to here:

 

I heard someone say once that if you don't know where you are going then any road will do as you don't know which one to follow. Equally if you don't know where you are then you don't know which road to take.

 

Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 15:54:50, 05 Jan 11
Tags: Blog,Business Networking,Business Networking Techniques,Email,New Year,Podcast,Social Media
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Be careful not to leave too early
After a really good networking meeting you will often see people still engrossed in conversations. Many of them will have their diaries to hand arranging meetings. It is this follow up activity in between networking meetings that really make the difference. If you are always rushing off right on time you might be missing out.

We noticed this happening after our NRG group meetings so we now set aside time in the meetings so everyone can be engaged in this activity. Next time you put a networking meeting in your diary try and leave some space beyond the formal end so you don't have to rush off.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:08:00, 22 Jul 10
Tags: Business Networking,Business Networking Techniques,Business Networking Groups,Networking Follow Up,Networking Tips
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What is the right approach in business networking?
It can be tempting to only 'network' with others who do completely different things to you. People who provide different services or products and those from different professions. In fact some groups only allow for one member from each.

In reality it is often those that are more complementary to you that lead to more and quicker opportunities. The similarities mean you get to establish relationships more quickly and it is much easier to find referrals for each other without going out of your way. Even those groups that exclude members in the same line of business recommend joining other more open groups as part of your overall networking strategy.

In the UK a couple of days ago the new Government took their places in Parliament. For the first time in 70 years in the UK there is a coalition government. Whether it will be a success remains to be seen, but it would be refreshing to see a new politics. One that sees politicians working together for the good of the country rather than constantly doing each other down. If the two parties had looked to their differences it is very likely that we would be in a different situation now. By focusing on similarities they have made progress and have the potential to really change the way things work.

The lesson for us in networking is the many more possibilities that open up with an open and collaborative approach.

Are you looking for the common ground with your network?

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:08:00, 20 May 10
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Business Networking Techniques,Business Networking Groups,Collaboration
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Another Lesson from the General Election
I was asked a question via Twitter yesterday about my advice for someone attending her first networking event. I suggested that she smile and wrote:

"Enjoy the meeting, introduce who you are, what you do, who for & how you look forward to getting to know the others."

The main thing is to be genuine and authentic. That is how you will build relationships with others as they get to know, like, rate and trust you. This brings me on to the latest networking lesson from the General Election. Everyone makes mistakes, but it is rare for such a gaffe as this one from Gordon Brown to be caught on camera. You can see the video at the BBC website. Gordon Brown is filmed saying one thing to a woman on camera and then something completely different off camera.

The lesson for networking is not to tell people what it is that you think they want to hear. Be yourself and be genuinely interested in the people you speak to.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 13:34:00, 28 Apr 10
Tags: Like,Business Networking,Know,Business Networking Techniques,Networking Transactions,Rate,Communication
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A Networking Lesson from the General Election Campaign
As I write this we have 10 days to go until the UK General Election. Until April 15th the Public Opinion Polls were predicting the following share of votes:
Conservative 36%
Labour 31%
Liberal Democrat 20%
Other 13%
The conservatives were in the lead and two thirds of the votes were predicted to be shared between them and Labour. The Liberal Democrats trailed in third with 20%.

Three days later the Liberal Democrat share had increased dramatically and they had moved into second place. Their support remains at this level according to the latest 'poll of polls':
Conservative 35%
Liberal Democrat 29%
Labour 28%
Other 8%

So what happened?


On the evening of April 15th we saw the first ever live TV debate between the main party leaders during a General Election Campaign. The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, was generally acknowledged to have won the debate against his  Conservative and Labour rivals, David Cameron and Nick Clegg. 

If he had not taken part he would not have won and that is the networking lesson to learn.

Most networking groups give their members the opportunity to share their expertise and raise their profile by speaking at events. I have, however, seen people refuse opportunities to speak because they feel they are not ready or the circumstances are not quite right. 

If you don't feel ready then prepare a few options and the next time you get the opportunity take the plunge and volunteer to speak. Your audience will be on your side and it's a great way of helping people understand when and how to advocate you!

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 10:18:00, 26 Apr 10
Tags: Business Networking,Business Networking Techniques,Networking Tips,Public Speaking
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Is networking a bit woolly?
In a workshop before a recent Networking Lunch a conversation took place between a couple of the attendees. Let's call them A and B.

A said "I am not really sure about this networking stuff".

B replied "It's about getting to know, like and trust people. You build relationships and as you help and refer others then others do the same for you".

A then said "That all sounds a bit woolly to me. I prefer things I can predict my cash flow with".

I described how I have a number of regular meetings with people in my network where we share an agreed number of referrals so we can predict cash flow. These are people for whom networking is not woolly, but a proven and reliable method of business development. We have invested time in building relationships and are happy to share our contacts with each other openly so as to maximise our referral opportunities.

Last week Sarah Owen of the Referral Institute presented a Networking Masterclass before the NRG Charing Cross networking lunch in London. One of the things she want through was their VCP Process™. This stands for Visibility, Credibility and Profitability*. People can believe the activity of attending networking events is enough. It is not as that can only really build your Visibility. Good networking groups provide the environment for you to build on this and create profitable relationships with people you know and others you want to know.

One of the elements of their Referrals for Life Programme is the Referral Pipeline where you get to spend a day with a trusted contact and execute a process that will efficiently generate enough referrals to completely fill up your sales pipeline!

Networking is only woolly if you are!

*VCP Process™ copyright Referral Institute 2010, all rights reserved.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Get 7 networking secrets for business success

business networking | business networking events | business networking tips
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 9:20:00, 30 Mar 10
Tags: Business Networking,VCP,Business Networking Techniques,Business Networking Groups,Visibility,Trust,Credibility,Referrals,Profitability
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How to become a proactive networker
I have been doing some work with an NRG member on developing an online training course for networking. She came back with an excellent insight this morning after reviewing the material;

"I would definitely get more benefit from my networking after doing this training by being more focused on objectives, rather than just expecting things to evolve/happen."

It is not unusual for people to wait for things to happen in networking rather than concentrating on things to make things happen. The most successful networkers, though, get on and don't wait.

In Applying the 7 habits to your business networking I wrote that habit 1* is 'Be Proactive'. You need commitment and the right attitude. Take the lead in conversations, make connections, and share your expertise.

So just how do you make yourself proactive in networking?

The first thing is to decide your objectives and then set yourself targets for the things you can do to help you achieve those objectives.

These podcasts may help you discover what you want and what you can do.
1. 'Why are you networking & are you prepared?'
2. Developing a Networking Strategy

Then it's down to you to do it!


*From the best selling Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Get 7 networking secrets for business success

business networking | business networking events | business networking tips

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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 12:00:00, 23 Feb 10
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Business Networking Techniques,Networking Tips,7 habits,Networking Objectives
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