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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

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Is networking a bit woolly?
In a workshop before a recent Networking Lunch a conversation took place between a couple of the attendees. Let's call them A and B.

A said "I am not really sure about this networking stuff".

B replied "It's about getting to know, like and trust people. You build relationships and as you help and refer others then others do the same for you".

A then said "That all sounds a bit woolly to me. I prefer things I can predict my cash flow with".

I described how I have a number of regular meetings with people in my network where we share an agreed number of referrals so we can predict cash flow. These are people for whom networking is not woolly, but a proven and reliable method of business development. We have invested time in building relationships and are happy to share our contacts with each other openly so as to maximise our referral opportunities.

Last week Sarah Owen of the Referral Institute presented a Networking Masterclass before the NRG Charing Cross networking lunch in London. One of the things she want through was their VCP Process™. This stands for Visibility, Credibility and Profitability*. People can believe the activity of attending networking events is enough. It is not as that can only really build your Visibility. Good networking groups provide the environment for you to build on this and create profitable relationships with people you know and others you want to know.

One of the elements of their Referrals for Life Programme is the Referral Pipeline where you get to spend a day with a trusted contact and execute a process that will efficiently generate enough referrals to completely fill up your sales pipeline!

Networking is only woolly if you are!

*VCP Process™ copyright Referral Institute 2010, all rights reserved.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 9:20:00, 30 Mar 10
Tags: Business Networking,VCP,Business Networking Techniques,Business Networking Groups,Visibility,Trust,Credibility,Referrals,Profitability
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Using online to get offline
At a networking lunch last week someone asked about how you get to meet up offline with some of the people you connect with online. Networking online & offline are about about building relationships. You can strengthen existing connections online and make good new connections. Build relationships by contributing to online conversations and sharing your knowledge and connections. At some point you will probably need to meet up to really build trust. You may not be quite ready to meet One2One so consider inviting them along to a networking group you belong to.

Last week I attended an Event on 'How real time web is facilitating offline interactivity'. One of the speakers Meetup Founder, Scott Heiferman, was talking about the importance of meeting offline and said Meetup itself was all about:

"Using the Internet to get off the Internet!"

A pretty good approach to keep in mind with your online networking.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Get 10 top networking tips to increase business with the effective use of offline & online networks

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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 9:00:00, 17 Mar 10
Tags: Business Networking,One2One,How Networking Works,Online,Offline Networking,Business Networking Groups,Trust,Online Networking,Networking Relationships,Networking Tips,Conversations
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How to decide where to spend time online networking
At a couple of meetings last week people asked me which online networks they should use. People tend to read the buzz about Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter etc & assume they need to be on them all. They can often feel daunted at the prospect of somehow incorporating all these into their networking.

I replied that the approach to networking is the same as offline. It is all about building relationships where people get to know, like and trust you. The important consideration for business networking is that the people you build those relationships with are in a position to refer you in the course of their everyday experiences. You should be networking online and offline in the networks where those people are members.

As I wrote in 10 top networking tips to increase business with the effective use of offline & online networks:

"Business Networking is about finding other business people who operate in similar markets to you. Then helping them and building relationships to earn that trust so don’t expect instant results. Like anything worthwhile, networking takes time and application. Take the time to develop relationships and create a network. Don’t expect to walk into a room of strangers or simply post a profile online and come away with business – it just doesn’t work like that!"

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 14:59:00, 16 Mar 10
Tags: Like,Offline Networking,Networking Tips,Twitter,Business Networking,How Networking Works,Facebook,Know,Business Networking Groups,Linkedin,Trust,Online Networking,Networking Relationships
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Are you really looking for a quick fix?
I met someone new at a networking group last week who said "It was tough last year and we need some new customers". I asked how long he was prepared to give it and he said he might come once more to see if he got any business. I asked him why he thought that it was the people who committed for the long term that got results. He said "I suppose it's really about building relationships".

Exactly right. Networking is about building a route to market for the longer term through trusted relationships. To build a relationship you first need to connect and then regularly follow up on that original connection and build trust.

Turning up once or maybe twice is hardly enough to connect and it certainly does not build trust. In fact it often has the opposite effect on your brand.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:08:00, 27 Jan 10
Tags: Business Networking,Business Networking Groups,Trust
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Is this the ultimate in networking?
In a meeting earlier this week someone was describing how he was developing a new venture with a business partner. He described his partner's approach to building business, "Give me one contact and I will build a business!"

It was very refreshing to hear him describe how he went about this by genuinely building close working relationships. Over time both parties gain substantially from the investment in the relationship. His approach is the opposite of many people who think networking is mainly about meeting new people. In reality they are spending lots of time getting to know very little about the many people they meet.

Most of us will need more than one close relationship to build a business. I think the important lesson is to spend more time getting to really know the people that we do meet. You really can build a business by spending your networking time in developing relationships and growing advocates within the right group of people.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:08:00, 17 Dec 09
Tags: Business Networking,Networking for Advocates,Business Networking Groups,Networking Relationships,Business Development
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Are you willing to share?
In a meeting yesterday with a couple of people who run mastermind groups we were discussing the attributes of people who are successful in those groups. First and foremost they need to be open minded and keen to grow. They also need to be willing to share, learn, contribute, take responsibility and apply what they learn.

Very similar attributes to the people that are successful in networking. They are also willing to share, learn, contribute, take responsibility and apply what they learn.

They share their knowledge and contacts and learn all they can about those they meet and their needs. They contribute fully to the groups they belong to and take responsibility by providing leadership and inviting others. They apply what they learn about the others by connecting them to the things and people they need to succeed.

All that motivates others to do it for them too.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 11:39:00, 08 Dec 09
Tags: Mastermind,Business Networking,Business Networking Techniques,Business Networking Groups
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Building friendships that will lead to business
I was chatting on Friday with someone about my last blog post, Should you join that networking group? She agreed with the view that you need to like the people when joining a networking group.

She said that she also looked for groups with professionals from similar backgrounds to hers and who operate in similar markets. She is not looking to just make friends, but build her business along the way.

It struck me that 'building friendships that will lead to business' is a pretty good definition of the process of business networking in a group.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:12:00, 07 Dec 09
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Business Networking Groups
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Should you join that networking group?
At the end of a recent event a visitor said to me "do you think I should join this group". I replied that I was biased, but could he answer yes to the following 3 questions.

1. Do you like the people in the group?
2. Over time could you introduce them to your trusted contacts?
3. Do you have the time in your diary for attending the events and following up?

He asked why those questions and I said, "Unless you like the people you are not likely to make the effort. If you can make introductions for the others then it is likely they can do the same for you. Finally, you need to have the time to invest in building relationships."

He smiled and asked for an application form.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:08:00, 04 Dec 09
Tags: Business Networking,Business Networking Groups,Networking Relationships,Time Management
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Do you get networking?
I was chatting with a couple of people yesterday after a networking meeting that I facilitated. One of the people said, "The great thing about this group is that all the people get it"

I asked what he meant by 'get it' and he said "They are a likeable, intelligent and friendly bunch with solid businesses. Everyone is there to help the others achieve their business goals first and foremost. They are relaxed, not desperate and not selling to each other."

A wonderful summary of the attributes of great networkers!

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 15:13:00, 27 Nov 09
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Business Networking Groups
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You had to dance
I remember an Uncle telling me about Saturday nights at the local dance hall. It was the night when young men and women would go to meet their dates or in the hope of finding someone to date. My Uncle told me that in order to get to know someone you first had to dance. This was easier when it was organised to ensure everyone got to dance with someone. Other times you just had to pluck up enough courage and ask a stranger.

I was reflecting with a couple of people yesterday that this is very similar to networking. You have to have the equivalent of a dance before you can get to know the other person and build trust in a business relationship. In networking that means having a meaningful conversation and creating a connection first.

The people I was chatting with all said they found it easier to do this at networking events where there is some facilitation and structure.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 15:19:00, 13 Nov 09
Tags: Business Networking,Business Networking Techniques,Business Networking Groups,Facilitation,Trust
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