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Business Networking Blog

It takes more than just showing up
In a recent One2One meeting I was asked by someone "How many business networking events do I need to attend before I start getting business?". I said that depends on what you do after the meetings. You should be attending events, making good connections, following up and building relationships. It's investing in the right relationships that lead to business.

Woody Allen famously said "80% of success is showing up". The rest is in the follow up.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 12:20:00, 16 Sep 09
Tags: Business Networking,One2One,How Networking Works,Networking Relationships,Networking Follow Up
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Social Networking and Business
I played golf with a number of business owners & professionals yesterday. Afterwards the chat turned to work matters and I asked the owner of a software company where most of his new business came from. He said "Much of it comes from Golf. There are lots of golf events in our Industry. After spending an enjoyable 3 or 4 hours getting to really know someone on the golf course they often ask about business. That then leads to finding opportunities for each other".

It's the same as any successful business networking where it is important to build relationships first & the business follows later.

If you are still wondering whether Social Networks are relevant for your business then think about the amount of business generated as a result of the connections made socially.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 13:55:00, 15 Sep 09
Tags: Like,Social Networking,Business Networking,How Networking Works,Know,New Business,Trust,Networking Relationships,Golf
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The benefits of listening first
At a couple of seminars last week on social media people asked about whether Twitter was relevant for their business. Graham Jones gave a couple of examples in his talk about how the best results come from listening out for people who are searching for answers to their problems. He cited the millions of dollars of business being generated by Companies like Dell & Starbucks.

Instead of just broadcasting what you do use the technology to find what people are searching for help with. You can then provide the answers and share your expertise. Over time people will refer others to you and will be prepared to listen to your offers. If you just shout first then nobody will listen.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 9:35:00, 14 Sep 09
Tags: Social Networking,Business Networking,Listening,Business Networking Techniques,Social Media,Twitter
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Are you nervous about networking?
You have probably met people who seem perfectly at ease in any situation and talk effortlessly with people they have never met before. For most of us it is not that easy. I speak to many people who have had a bad networking experience which in some cases puts them off networking completely. This has often been at an event with no formal facilitation. I remember speaking to the organiser of events like this. He said "Yes we do networking. We put people in a room and let them get on with it".

Even seasoned networkers can get nervous about walking into a room full of strangers. A friend of mine shared recently that he had booked and paid for a Chamber of Commerce Open Networking Event. He traveled to the event at the appointed time and even got to the door. He then decided he couldn't face it, turned round and went home!

If you are nervous about networking then try a group that is facilitated to build your confidence and build those important business relationships in a safe environment.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 10:10:00, 11 Sep 09
Tags: Business Networking,Business Networking Techniques,Business Networking Groups,Facilitation
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Can you refer the other people in your networking group?
In a recent One2One meeting the person asked me for some advice about a networking group she belonged to. She said "I have given it my best for more than a year, but I haven't received any referrals". I asked about the number of One2Ones she had with other members and the referrals she made for others.

It turned out that she hadn't been able to make many as most of the others operated in completely different markets to her. I suggested some other groups where she was likely to get to know, like and trust people with similar markets to her.

A good question to ask yourself when evaluating which groups to join is whether you regularly have the opportunity to refer the types of businesses represented in the group. Then whether you can envisage getting to know, like and trust them first.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 10:10:00, 10 Sep 09
Tags: Like,Business Networking,One2One,Know,Business Networking Techniques,Business Networking Groups,Trust,Referrals
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What's your story?
I facilitated a recent mastermind group where one of the issues raised was about communicating a difficult business proposition. The discussion led to the conclusion that a story would be a great way to do this. In 'Telling a story to illustrate what you do' I wrote about how useful a simple story can be in this regard.

One of the other participants shared a great tip for producing a good story. He had asked 2 clients that were representative of his ideal customers to share their stories of how they had come to choose his business. He then got a copywriter to produce these as short case studies. The stories have been instrumental in helping generate much new business.

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

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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 12:34:00, 09 Sep 09
Tags: Mastermind,Business Networking,Business Networking Techniques,Facilitation,Business Development
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Networking and Masterminding
One of the problems in running your own business can be taking time out from the day to day to chat about things and get ideas from other perspectives. People who are very successful in business surround themselves with people with different skills to themselves and different ways of looking at the world.

As you develop close relationships through networking it may be appropriate to find a small group where you can help each other achieve your overall goals. I am involved in a couple of these groups where the members act like a 'virtual board' for each other.

As I wrote yesterday Networking can be about much more than new business. A small mastermind group or virtual board can provide you with a much needed sounding board and challenge you to make sure your plans have a reasonable chance of success!

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:51:00, 08 Sep 09
Tags: Mastermind,Business Networking,Business Networking Groups,Virtual Board,Business Development,Inner Network
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Much more than just new business from networking
I was chatting about a mutual friend with the seminar speaker at a Business Networking Lunch last week. He said that whenever they meet he is introduced as "the man who saved me quarter of a million in 5 minutes!".

He went on to explain that a short conversation at a previous NRG event had pointed our mutual friend at a $25000 solution rather then his original quotes of £300000.

As you build trusted business networking relationships they lead to much more in the way of support than just new business.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 10:10:00, 07 Sep 09
Tags: Business Networking,Business Networking Groups,Trust,NRG,Support
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Where do you get your new business?
I often ask Business Owners and Professionals "Where do you get most of your new business?". The most popular answer is recommendation or referral. There is often silence after the supplementary question "so what is your strategy for generating more recommendation?".

The ironic thing is that most of them will have strategies for other parts of their marketing, but not for the most important! 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
Get 7 networking secrets for business success

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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 10:02:00, 04 Sep 09
Tags: Business Networking,Business Networking Techniques,Strategy,Referrals,Business Development,Recommendation
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The value of networking for advocates
Many people in Business to Business Services report that the cost of lead generation is rising. My colleague Martin Davies was telling me about a conversation he had last week with someone who had calculated the value of Networking for Advocates against paying for leads.

This person had built 10 advocate relationships through his NRG Networking Group. His investment was about £200 per Advocate. His advocates generate about ten leads for him per year each. That's 100 leads for an investment of £2000. In his industry the cost of a good lead is about £100 to £200.

The cost of buying the same number of leads would therefore be between £10000 & £20000. Up to 10 times more! That makes Networking for Advocates a pretty good return on Investment.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 10:02:00, 03 Sep 09
Tags: Business Networking,Networking for Advocates,Business Networking Groups,Return on Investment
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