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Business Networking Blog

Why follow up is so important
I ran a business networking seminar this week when I asked 2 questions.

1. Do you agree that all things being equal people do business with and refer business to the people they know, like and trust?

2. Do you agree that all things being unequal people STILL do business with and refer business to the people they know like and trust?

The answer to both was a resounding yes, so I asked another.

"Why then do you spend most of your networking time getting to know lots of people a bit?"

You don't get to know, like and trust people by meeting once or twice. You get to know them by spending time in conversation with them and others at regular networking group meetings and by following that up with One2One interactions. That's follow up and you don't get to know, like and trust someone without it.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 19:47:00, 13 Jan 10
Tags: Like,Business Networking,Know,Trust,Networking Relationships,Conversations
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Keep in touch
In my National Networker column this month I wrote about keeping in touch;

How often has someone said to you "Let's keep in touch" and that's the last you heard from each other? This excellent cartoon from the New Yorker collection shows how it is often:


















When you agree to "keep in touch" it means to maintain communications so that you keep up-to-date with knowledge about each other. That is how you continue to get to know each other and how you can help them and they can help you. We have more and more ways of keeping in touch than ever as this illustration shows:



You really have no excuse for not keeping in touch! Become one of the who do regularly keep in touch and you will stand out from the networking crowd.

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

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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 11:45:00, 11 Jan 10
Tags: Social Networking,Business Networking,Networking Relationships,Networking Follow Up
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How to get your Network to Advocate You
In 'How to get what you want from your networking in 2010' I wrote about setting yourself targets for your networking activities as part of an overall strategy. The ultimate aim of your business networking is to create a network of advocates who regularly promote you and your services without being asked or paid and when you are not there.

The number one way of getting your network to regularly advocate you is to advocate them first.

Remember habit 4 of Stephen R Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is think Win/Win. Applying this in networking means developing a giving mentality and becoming an Advocate for others.

In this podcast I explain this and some of the other ways of motivating others in your Inner Network to advocate you.

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

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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 15:00:00, 05 Jan 10
Tags: Podcast,Business Networking,How Networking Works,Networking for Advocates,Inner Network
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How to get what you want from your networking in 2010
Yesterday I posed the question 'What do you want from your networking in 2010?'. The way to ensure you get what you want is to go about it strategically. Set your goals and plan the activities that will help you achieve them.

The temptation is to set yourself the goals you have as targets. The problem with this is that you may be targeting things outside of your control. The important thing is to target yourself with those activities that you do control and that will lead to the results you desire.

I discussed this in 'Applying the 7 habits to your business networking'. Habit 3 of Stephen R Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is 'Put First Things First!' Set yourself targets for the things that YOU can control.

In 'Applying the 7 habits to your business networking' I included these as examples:
• The amount of time you can devote to networking
• The number of events you can attend
• The number of 1-2-1’s you can arrange
• How much time you can spend online
• Building a contacts database
• What introductions you can give
• Choosing the right networking organisation for you

Listen to this short podcast for the simple steps involved in developing a strategy to generate more business from your network.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 9:30:00, 30 Dec 09
Tags: Business Networking,Strategy,Business Development,7 habits
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What do you want from your networking in 2010?
As you reflect on the year gone by and maybe make some resolutions for next year it is worth thinking about what you want to achieve through your business networking activity.

In 'Applying the 7 habits to your business networking' I wrote about Stephen R Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Habit 2 is Begin with the End in Mind. Unless you know what you want from your networking then how can others help you?

Once you have clearly identified what you want that's a great start. Combine that with going about it in the right way and you are well on the way to achieving your networking goals.

Take a listen to this podcast on the subject;
'Why are you networking & are you prepared?'
Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Get 7 networking secrets for business success

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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 13:07:00, 29 Dec 09
Tags: How Networking Works,Business Development,7 habits,New Year
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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year


Season's Greetings!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 12:04:00, 24 Dec 09
Tags: New Year,Christmas
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A simple way of standing out from the crowd
I recently changed the email address I use to send out emails. I am still using the old one and have not informed anyone that I am using a new address. I did it to simplify the way things get dealt with in my office. What I find interesting is that new messages to the older email address have dropped by over 90%. Further analysis shows that the vast majority of regular emails (excluding spam) are replies to me rather than new ones. This is not unusual as most people react to events rather than initiate them. In other words most people are reactive rather than proactive.

In business networking this means that most do not follow up after you have connected at a networking event. This gives you a great opportunity to be different by becoming one of the proactive few. By simply getting into the habit of following up first with that nugget of information or that helpful introduction.

'Be Proactive' is the 1st habit of highly successful people according to Stephen R. Covey in the best selling Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Read about 'applying the 7 habits to your business networking here'.

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

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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 10:40:00, 23 Dec 09
Tags: Business Networking,Networking Follow Up,7 habits
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How do you manage your contacts?
After yesterday's post on 'how good are you at staying in touch' a couple of contacts asked how can you 'manage' your contacts. It's becoming a problem for them because they use a combination of Outlook and other software and online networks are adding complexity.

Here are some things that I do to help manage the interactions with my network:

1. I use our internal contact management system in the member area of the NRG-networks website.
2. In Outlook I arrange my contacts into categories so that I can ensure I am spending enough time with my Inner Network & Advocates. I talked about these categories in a podcast, How to start building your network.
3. I arrange my online contacts into lists or groups on the different platforms.
4. I use an Outlook plug in from Xobni.com which shows me whether a contact is on Linkedin, Facebook or Twitter together with their latest updates.

I would be very interested in learning how you manage your contacts.

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, 22 Dec 09
Tags: Social Networking,Business Networking,Social Media,Contact Management
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Are you good at staying in touch?
Like many others at this time of year we receive a number of letters from old friends summing up the year just gone by. It's great to hear about the stories they share. Sadly this seems to be the only time of year we do hear from some people. So it is great to find that more and more old friends, colleagues and acquaintances are creating profiles and posting updates on social networks and social media sites.

My experience is that online networks are great for staying in touch and a really good way to get started is to connect with the people you already know. You can also reconnect with people you have lost touch with. The major ones for me are Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and Ecademy.

I created my profile on Linkedin about six years ago. More and more people I meet express the view that Linkedin is increasingly more important for business connections.

I joined Ecademy six years ago too and I have found it great for two things;
1. Connecting with some great people and building friendships through the clubs that meet offline.
2. Learning all about online social networks and social media.

I joined Facebook more recently and it is very useful for both social and business communication. I have a personal profile and a business one too. On the social side I am regularly in touch with family and friends who share news and photos. On the business side I can interact with people with similar interests.

Twitter is great for sharing content and signposting others to the useful stuff that people in my network provide regularly.

For more how the online fits into networking generally see 'How to Effectively Combine Offline & Online Networking'.

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

business networking | business networking events | business networking podcast
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 21 Dec 09
Tags: Social Networking,Business Networking,Facebook,Linkedin,Social Media,Online Networking,Twitter,Ecademy
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Getting in front of the right people at the right time
Many people in business networking often say that they have no problem selling. Their biggest problem is getting in front of the right person. I feel they often need to add something else. It is not just getting in front of that person, but doing it at the right time.

Business to business and professional services are usually bought when someone has a problem or issue they need to solve. You need to have a very good idea of these problems and issues within your target market. The critical thing then is to educate your network with the signs that identify someone with those needs. They can then advocate you and your services to the right people AND at the right time.

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

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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 11:46:00, 18 Dec 09
Tags: Business Networking,Target Market,Networking for Advocates,Proposition,Communication
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