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Referral Marketing lessons from the Golf Course
Another speaker at the Referral Institute UK & Ireland Conference earlier this week was Mike Holman, Referral Institute Franchise owner and former Golf Professional. Mike entertained and educated us with the lessons to be learned from golf that can be applied to your referral marketing. In golf you generally have a specific target and play 9 or 18 holes accordingly. Unless you have a real vision for your business you cannot see & share the targets that will help you get there. Successful golf involves alignment, balance, timing and practice. It's the same in referral marketing. Your network needs to be aligned with what you do, the balance of giving and receiving needs to be right. In 'Are you stuck doing lots of networking with little reward?' yesterday I wrote about the relationship building that needs to be in place before the timing is right for profitable referrals.

Mike quoted Gary Player on the subject of practice when someone congratulated him on a lucky shot. Player agreed with the spectator and said "Yes and you know the more I practice the luckier I get!"

See this great video of Tiger Woods for someone who puts it all into practice on the golf course:


Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:08:00, 29 Oct 09
Tags: Business Networking,Learning,Referrals,Networking Relationships,Golf
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Are you stuck doing lots of networking with little reward?
At the Referral Institute UK & Ireland Conference yesterday Mike Macedonio spoke about people who spend a lot of time networking, but who are effectively invisible. He spoke about the VCP process (tm) which is the acronym Dr. Ivan Misner uses for Visibility, Credibility, and Profitability.

Mike explained that you have to move through these stages in a referral relationship. This takes time, effort and commitment, but people often spend their time getting to meet lots & lots of people without ever getting to really know anyone. In practice profitability is achieved by going deep and establishing trusted relationships.

Visibility is only established when you know who someone is and what they do and they know the same about you.

Credibility is achieved when you each perceive each other to be reliable and worthy of confidence.

Profitability is when you are both consistently and proactively referring business to each other.

Does that mean that Visibility Networking is not important? No, you have to establish visibility first and that sort of networking will often be the place where you can introduce and find referrals for those in your Inner Network.

Read more about this in Mike's article 'Just Ask. Right? . . . No.'

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 14:03:00, 28 Oct 09
Tags: Business Networking,Business Networking Techniques,Trust,Referrals,Networking Relationships
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A great example of follow up
Making sure you follow up with the people you meet is the vital 2nd step in building business relationships. It's often the thing that gets forgotten as business cards pile up in your office! The people that do follow up stand out and some of those really make a great impression.

Several weeks ago I met someone who promised to send me some information. A few days later the information arrived in the post along with a copy of a book we had been discussing. That has prompted further interactions which are the building blocks of a profitable business relationship.

Are you in the habit of regular follow up?

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:08:00, 27 Oct 09
Tags: Business Networking,Business Networking Techniques,Networking Relationships,Networking Follow Up
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More on what networking is not
I met someone recently through networking who asked for a One2One meeting to 'explore possible ways of working together'. I agreed to the meeting, but the experience was entirely different. The other person did not approach it as a mutual exchange amd presented his business for the entire time. Instead of a One2One it was more of a One@One!

Building trusted relationships is fundamental to getting results from business networking. These take time and include many exchanges of help, support and referrals. It is often within One on One or One2One meetings that these exchanges take place. Make sure you approach One2Ones in the right spirit of building relationships through mutual exchange.

See 'How to have a good One2One meeting' for more on the subject.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 10:00:00, 26 Oct 09
Tags: Business Networking,One2One,Trust,Networking Relationships
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Networking is still not about selling
I have blogged before that networking is not selling yet I still meet people at networking events that are intent on selling to the room. I was at an event the other day where a couple of people were complaining that they had got clients the first couple of times they attended, but those sorts of people didn't come any more.

What a shock. They were probably put off by people selling to them all the time. As I often write networking is not about selling directly. If you build relationships in the right way then you don't have to sell. Your network does it for you!

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:08:00, 23 Oct 09
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Business Networking Techniques,Networking for Advocates,Business Networking Groups,Selling,Networking Relationships
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What is important in your World?
In response to my post 'What you say is less important' Christopher Neufeld said "An excellent point, although it should take note that you need to get the other person to open up and start discussing what is important to both of you."

He is right about the need to engage with someone in order to start a conversation or get them to 'open up' as he put it. The things that really engage someone are those that are important in their world. I was speaking at a recent event for the owners of independent retail and catering businesses about generating business in the run up to Christmas. The brief was excellent because it summarised the main concerns they have right now which meant the speakers could address those immediately and engage from the start.

It's the same in a One on One or small group. To engage and start a conversation ask questions about the issues they have. It's those conversations that create the connections that start the networking process.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:08:00, 22 Oct 09
Tags: Business Networking,Listening,Business Networking Techniques,Networking Connections,Questions,Conversations
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Which email grabbed my attention?
I received an email earlier this week which included "I have an event coming up ... can you promote to to your network". As you might imagine I get many such requests. The same day another email arrived which included "I am just putting together next month's newsletter, do you have an event in November you would like us to promote?" I know that he has an event that he would like me to promote, but he has offered to do something for me first.

He understands that in business networking it is important to give first before you receive.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:24:00, 21 Oct 09
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works
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How recently have you been in touch?
I was involved in a discussion yesterday about the importance of the Christmas Trading period to many in the retail and leisure trades. With the year many of them have had it could well be make or break time. Now is the time to act to ensure they maximise their business in the next couple of months.

One thing that came up in the discussion was the goldmine that many of them are sitting on without realising it. The gold in this mine is their existing customers. Many businesses concentrate on looking for new customers all the time and forget those people they have already done business with.

Make sure you keep in regular contact with people you have already done business with. Give them some added value and they may well spend more with you. Do it consistently and they will be amongst your best sources of new business from the people they know and influence.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 12:38:00, 20 Oct 09
Tags: Business Networking,Word of Mouth
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A good beginning, middle & end
In a One2One meeting last week the other person was describing an unsatisfactory experience at a networking event. I asked what had happened and she said "people turned up at the appointed time, refreshments were served, there was a speaker and then at the time it was supposed to finish people began drifting off".

I remember in English lessons at school being taught the importance of a good beginning, middle and end in writing a story. It struck me that my friend had described something with no satisfactory beginning or end. The importance of a good beginning and end applies to any good networking or other business experience.

In my experience people like to know what to expect at the start. They also like to know it will finish on time. They can then enjoy and make the most of it.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 9:40:00, 19 Oct 09
Tags: Business Networking,Business Networking Groups
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Habit one in blunt terms from Brad Burton
I wrote recently about applying Stephen Coveys 7 habits of highly successful people to business networking. Habit one is 'Be Proactive' or as Brad Burton puts it in the title of his new book, 'Get off your Arse!'.

I interviewed Brad for this article on The National Networker and asked him about the title amongst other things.

Brad shared this "I’m not one for controversy. Look the basics of any business is getting off your arse its that simple, no point in looking at an excel document, I encounter many Spreadsheet millionaires, each week its easy making money on spreadsheets I’ve done it 100’s of times. But unless you get off your arse that spreadsheet is never going to happen. And it’s an honest call to action to anyone in business of any size to look at the way you are doing things and begin to do things differently, not just for the sake of doing things differently...".

More from Brad in the full article at the National Networker here >>>.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:57:00, 16 Oct 09
Tags: Business Networking,7 habits
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