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1 why networking doesn't work 2 why do people find networking valuable? 3 how do i get in front of the right people? 4 how do i choose a networking event? 5 how do i get the most out of networking meeting? 6 how do i build my network? 7 how do you answer the question what do you? 8 how do you tell a good stiory? 9 how do you get the most out of networking? 10 how do i build trust within my network? 11 how do i follow up? 12 how do i get the best from 121 meetings? 13 how do i get people to refer me? 14 how do i manage my network? 15 how do i nurture my network? 16 how do i build advocates?
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"In just a few hours I met people I definitely connect with and a couple I will refer. An excellent way to network."

Steve Bradbury

Verbatim Call Handling Service - Proud Sponsors of NRG

Business Networking Blog

Did you build your network in the good times?
There may be trouble ahead...

Internet Psychologist Graham Jones wrote on his Ecademy Blog yesterday about the tough economic times ahead whoever wins the UK General Election. Everyone knows there will be some serious belt tightening whoever wins, but as he says "It's not all doom and gloom. You have your friends... It will be tough in the coming few years, that's true. But if you have friends; if you have trusted contacts; if you have people who like you, then you will survive thanks to their support."

This is when you find out that networking really isn't selling. It is about developing your route to market through trusted relationships, but it's much more than that. It is also about support and building friendships in business. That happens when you get to know, like, rate and trust others and they do the same for you.

As Graham said the economic situation we now have to face could well prove that it's never what you know that matters - it's who you know!

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:08:00, 07 May 10
Tags: Like,Business Networking,How Networking Works,Know,Trust,Rate,Support
38490 Views 0 Comments

Is this the most important thing in marketing?
In a discussion on following up in the NRG-networks Linkedin Group yesterday Helen Dowling of 'Exceptional Thinking' shared that she thought that following up is "the most important marketing technique you can do".

She certainly has a point about the importance of following up. My experience of marketing in general and networking in particular is that following up is the activity that really makes the difference. There is very little point in attending lots of events, delivering your pitch, chatting briefly with many different people and collecting boxes full of business cards you do nothing with.

You don't build profitable business relationships by hardly getting to know lots of different people!

You build those relationships by finding the real points of connection and then following up with different interactions over time. That includes regular participation in your networking group, follow up emails, follow up phone calls, follow up on Social Networks and most importantly of all, follow up 121 meetings.

In other words take the lead and become one of the proactive few. It is after all the first habit of highly effective people.*

*Read more on Stephen Covey's 7 habits in my article - Applying the 7 habits to your business networking.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:08:00, 06 May 10
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Marketing,Networking Follow Up,Business Development,Networking Tips,7 habits
39656 Views 0 Comments

What comes first in business networking?
The first habit of highly effective people is being proactive* according to the best selling book by by Stephen R. Covey. I was reminded of this when reviewing the video interview in my recent post, 'Just how important is a network in business?'.The last question I was asked in that interview was what key piece of advice I would give to someone new in business.

I was pleased to find my answer in line with some great advice from Robert Craven in his article, 'The Shortest Book on Business?'. According to Robert success is down to some very simple basics - clarity, focus, confidence and activity. And as he says in regard to activity, "Take Massive Action".

It's great advice for networking your business. You do need to be clear about what you do and who for. Some people, however, spend huge amounts of time and energy on honing their service offerings before undertaking any business development activity.

The important thing is not to put off the activity itself. Go out confidently and build your network first and they will help you refine your messages and offerings.

*For more go to my article - Applying the 7 habits to your business networking.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 16:40:00, 04 May 10
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Business Development,Networking Tips,7 habits
39139 Views 0 Comments

Just how important is a network in business?
Dave Harries of GuruView.TV began this interview by asking how important a network is for small and medium sized businesses? He also asked what networks are, if there are different levels of networking and whether offline networking is now more or less important.

Finally he asked what key piece of advice I would give to someone new in business. You can watch my answers in this seven minute interview.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:08:00, 30 Apr 10
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Video,Networking Tips
51527 Views 0 Comments

Another big lesson from the General Election
On Tuesday this week I spoke at a Marketing Masterclass in Newbury about 'How Business Networking Really Works'. Two of the other speakers, Nigel Morgan and Karen Chapple presented about the growing importance of Social Media. Karen shared the news that Google now has a Social Tab on its default search page in the US.

We had a big lesson in the UK yesterday on the power of Social Media. I wrote yesterday in 'Another Lesson from the General Election' about the off camera remarks from Gordon Brown that were picked up on microphone.

The speed at which this spread across the world should leave you in no doubt about the power of Social Media. It was a little ironic that Andy Lopata wrote about 'Whatever happened to the Social Media Election' yesterday morning where he included this rather prescient comment:

"Don't underestimate the power of a politician's gaffe during the closing days of the election to have a much bigger impact than ever before. Thanks to social media any slip up can be both shared globally and repeated ad nauseam irrespective of how many people witness it in person. The news media pick the stories up and run with them as people share them on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube."

If you are still wondering about whether Social Media is right for you and your business you should heed what Nigel and Karen said on Tuesday "If you do not have a Social Media presence you need to do something about that right now..."

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:08:00, 29 Apr 10
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Marketing,Social Media
33815 Views 0 Comments

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
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
36274 Views 0 Comments

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
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 10:18:00, 26 Apr 10
Tags: Business Networking,Business Networking Techniques,Networking Tips,Public Speaking
34403 Views 0 Comments

Do you meet the right people when you go networking?
In a conversation with the partner in a professional firm last week he said "I know networking is about building relationships and not selling directly, but I never meet the right people". I asked him who the right people were and he tried to explain. He found it difficult and rambled on a bit.

I suggested (gently) that he might like to give it some thought because then he would have an idea where he might find the 'right people'. He asked if I had any tips that might help and I said he could start with where his referrals came from today. He mentioned a couple of sources which was great because now he will be looking for networking groups with others like them.

I also suggested that when he finds that group he should invite his current referral sources too. That way he will be building his Inner Network* and strengthening the relationships with his current Advocates*.

*Explained in more detail in the NRG Advocate Marketing System.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 11:54:00, 23 Apr 10
Tags: Business Networking,Networking Groups,Networking for Advocates,Advocate Marketing,Networking Tips,Networking System,Professional Networking,Inner Network,Advocate,Advocacy
42560 Views 0 Comments

How to have a productive One2One Meeting
The key to building a successful relationship with someone in business networking is follow up. One2One interactions are an essential part of this follow up. It is the next step after you have invested time in getting to know someone at your regular networking group meetings. In this podcast I explain how to have a productive One2One Meeting.

Listen here:

If you don't have a couple of minutes to listen then this image from the NRG Networking System covers the main points:

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:08:00, 20 Apr 10
Tags: Business Networking,One2One,Offline Networking,Networking Groups,Networking Follow Up,Networking Tips,Networking System,Conversations
59465 Views 0 Comments

Using the Internet to get off the Internet
In 'Using online to get offline' I briefly mentioned Meetup.com Founder, Scott Heiferman, and his talk in London about the importance of meeting offline.

Scott shared that he really began to experience the power of community in post 9/11 New York when people began again to rediscover the importance of looking out for each other. I was in London during the bombs on the underground and on a bus on 7 July 2005 and saw many people going out of their way for others in a similar way.

Scott shared that the idea for Meetup came from that time and he wanted to create a site to help strengthen community. To give people the opportunity to use the Internet to get together in local communities each day with the goal of improving themselves or their communities. Their mission today is to revitalize local community and help people around the world self-organize. Meetup believes that people can change their personal world, or the whole world, by organizing themselves into groups that are powerful enough to make a difference.

As Scott said it's about "Using the Internet to get off the Internet!"

A great insight into how to use Online Social Media and Networks in your Business Networking, a subject I addressed more fully in this article:

'10 top networking tips to increase business with the effective use of offline & online networks'

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 14:49:00, 16 Apr 10
Tags: Business Networking,One2One,How Networking Works,Online,Offline Networking,Business Networking Groups,Trust,Online Networking,Networking Relationships,Networking Tips,Conversations
39804 Views 0 Comments


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