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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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Business Networking Blog

How much should you give away?
In Nigel Temple's excellent Internet Marketing Masterclass yesterday there was a discussion about how much of your knowledge you should give away. A few years ago I sat in discussions where people argued that you should give nothing away. Yesterday most people were happy with the notion of giving away about 20%, but holding back the rest to charge for. It's the old 'Sprat to catch a mackerel' notion.

Most of us, however, are unhappy when we feel someone is holding something back. It gets in the way of building relationships. If you want people to refer you or do business with you that might be a problem!

The World has been changed forever with this thing called the Internet. Most knowledge is now freely available somewhere if you search for it. Some people will pay for your knowledge, but mainly they will pay for the the value you add.

Consider this statement from someone who is very successful in developing his business with networking. This was part of his response to the NRG research into business networking:

"I do not do any cold calling. All my business comes from networking and referrals. Networking is not about selling, it's about building relationships.

Much of the business is a result of doing a presentation where I share ALL my secrets so people know how to do what I do.

Mostly, they prefer to ask me to do it for them. Even though I've explained how they can do it for themselves!


Nigel was a living example of this in his Masterclass yesterday. The only thing the people attending were really paying for was the cost of the room for a few hours. He was then giving away his knowledge freely for a couple of hours.

Some of those people are now paying for his help to implement the stuff!

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 11:13:00, 11 Mar 10
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Marketing,Networking Tips
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Reducing your business risks with networking
In the NRG research into business networking conducted a few years ago the findings included the ways in which building trusted relationships through networking reduces your risk in doing business. Perhaps the more obvious ones were the benefits you get from having more people looking for opportunities for you and good honest feedback about your business.

Another one was the business intelligence that your network contains. A great example of this for those operating in the UK is the results from NRG member and Skillfair founder, Gill Hunt, for their 2010 UK Consultancy Fee Rate Survey*. This was her biggest ever survey so the results are pretty definitive. Rates by specialism, sector and region.

As Gill says "You can use this information as a guide when buying or selling consultancy and freelance services - day rate isn't everything but it gives you a place to start and confidence that you're in the right area."

I am also pleased to report that NRG members get 11% more than the average!

*Full results published here.

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

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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 13:01:00, 05 Mar 10
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Trust,Research,Networking Relationships
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Follow up is the difference
Someone asked me this week "What is the main difference between people who are effective in their networking and those who are not?"

I replied that there were generally a number of factors. The first being that there are those that 'get it' and those that don't. By that I mean there are those who understand how networking works and some who have the idea that is some sort of selling or purely social activity.

The big difference, though, is with those that set aside time to spend following up with others. Investing time in getting to know, like, & trust them and then connecting them with the things they need to know and the people they need to know to help them achieve their busines objectives. You only get to know the relevant content and contacts in the context that is right for them by spending time with them.

In 'A simple way of standing out from the crowd' I wrote how you can stand out by becoming one of the proactive few who regularly follow up.

One simple way of ensuring you do this is to get in the habit of setting aside time in your diary for follow up and 121s after networking meetings.

I talk for a couple of minutes on follow up in this podcast, 'Follow up, Follow up, Follow up!'
Listen here:

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 12:15:00, 03 Mar 10
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Networking Follow Up,Networking Tips
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Should you be on Linkedin?
Earlier this week I was asked whether Linkedin was useful for someone in a Professional Services Business. I have experienced the growing popularity of Linkedin in the UK through the NRG-networks Linkedin Group I manage.

I replied that it was not really about just being on Linkedin, but how you use it to complement your offline networking. The reality is that the more proactive networkers are already using Linkedin to interact, build and strengthen trusted relationships with others operating in their target markets. If you do not have an active presence online then you are missing out on this.

Online networks like Linkedin are a great complement to offline networks if you are providing services on a Regional or National basis. You can read about this in more details in '10 top tips to increase business with the effective use of offline & online networks'.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 15:30:00, 02 Mar 10
Tags: Business Networking,Linkedin,Online Networking,Networking Tips
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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

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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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Are you trying too hard for the perfect pitch?
Many networking events have a slot where you have to introduce yourself to the group. People can get so wrapped up in this that they think this is what networking is all about and spend ages trying to craft the perfect 'elevator pitch'. Forgetting that time is better spent in building relationships.

I was asked by someone last week for feedback on their pitch as they were not getting much out of their networking. When I asked what else he was doing in the way of helping others and following up there was a long pause in the conversation!

As long as you are able to express your proposition confidently & consistently when asked that is enough. The important elements are your target market, the problems you solve and your stories.

In my top 10 networking tips I explain the really important things to spend time on. Finding other business people who operate in similar markets to you. Then helping them and building relationships to earn the trust that is vital in business networking success.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 11:45:00, 16 Feb 10
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Business Networking Techniques,Trust,Networking Relationships,Proposition
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Three keys to networking success
Earlier this week, Jason Cobine, shared his insights into the three keys to networking success at the NRG Marble Arch Networking Group in London. Basing his talk on his own experiences he identified the three as help others, help yourself, and follow up.

The first two keys, help others & help yourself, nicely summarise how networking works. If you want others to help you then take the lead and help them first. You can help yourself my making it crystal clear what you want so people can actually help you. He is also spot on about follow up which really is 'a simple way of standing out from the crowd'.

You can read more about the three keys from Jason in his blog 'Why are some business networkers more successful than others?'

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 9:00:00, 12 Feb 10
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Business Networking Techniques,Networking Follow Up,Networking Tips
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Offline Social Networking
I have just returned from a weeks skiing in the French Alps with nearly 20 other business people. All people that I have met through networking in the last 5 or 6 years. The bonds built through this sort of social activity really do enhance the building of business relationships.

As William Buist put it in his Ecademy Blog on the skiing trip:

"There really is a lot of value in getting a deep understanding of how others think and seeing how they look out for you when you need support. Everyone in the party of nearly 20 was either well known to each other or to someone in the group. There's a camaraderie that's second to none."

Last year in 'Networking on the Piste' I reported on last year's trip. I have no doubt that the amount of business eventually generated between the people on the trip this year will exceed last year's as people got to know even more about each other.

Business Networking really can be fun!

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:08:00, 09 Feb 10
Tags: Like,Social Networking,Business Networking,Know,Trust,Networking Relationships
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How to explain what you really do
In 'How to answer that awkward question' I included my podcast on how to answer that tricky question "What do you do?"

My latest podcast is all about giving your answer in a way that is easily understood and gives an insight into what you really do. Listen here:

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

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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:08:00, 02 Feb 10
Tags: Business Networking,Business Networking Techniques,Proposition,Networking Introductions
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Serendipity and Networking
According to Wikipedia the word Serendipity is 256 years old today. I accidentally stumbled upon that fact whilst looking for something else!

It's a great word that describes some of the great benefits you get from networking with your eyes and ears open. In addition to the stuff you have planned you find opportunities and people that you never imagined.

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

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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 9:00:00, 28 Jan 10
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works
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