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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 this the most important thing in marketing?
In a discussion on following up in the NRG-networks Linkedin Group yesterday Helen Dowling of 'Exceptional Thinking' shared that she thought that following up is "the most important marketing technique you can do".

She certainly has a point about the importance of following up. My experience of marketing in general and networking in particular is that following up is the activity that really makes the difference. There is very little point in attending lots of events, delivering your pitch, chatting briefly with many different people and collecting boxes full of business cards you do nothing with.

You don't build profitable business relationships by hardly getting to know lots of different people!

You build those relationships by finding the real points of connection and then following up with different interactions over time. That includes regular participation in your networking group, follow up emails, follow up phone calls, follow up on Social Networks and most importantly of all, follow up 121 meetings.

In other words take the lead and become one of the proactive few. It is after all the first habit of highly effective people.*

*Read more on Stephen Covey's 7 habits in my article - Applying the 7 habits to your business networking.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:08:00, 06 May 10
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Marketing,Networking Follow Up,Business Development,Networking Tips,7 habits
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What comes first in business networking?
The first habit of highly effective people is being proactive* according to the best selling book by by Stephen R. Covey. I was reminded of this when reviewing the video interview in my recent post, 'Just how important is a network in business?'.The last question I was asked in that interview was what key piece of advice I would give to someone new in business.

I was pleased to find my answer in line with some great advice from Robert Craven in his article, 'The Shortest Book on Business?'. According to Robert success is down to some very simple basics - clarity, focus, confidence and activity. And as he says in regard to activity, "Take Massive Action".

It's great advice for networking your business. You do need to be clear about what you do and who for. Some people, however, spend huge amounts of time and energy on honing their service offerings before undertaking any business development activity.

The important thing is not to put off the activity itself. Go out confidently and build your network first and they will help you refine your messages and offerings.

*For more go to my article - Applying the 7 habits to your business networking.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 16:40:00, 04 May 10
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Business Development,Networking Tips,7 habits
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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
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 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

business networking | business networking events | business networking podcast
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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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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
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 8:08:00, 17 Dec 09
Tags: Business Networking,Networking for Advocates,Business Networking Groups,Networking Relationships,Business Development
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What Matters Now
In 'What Matters Now: get the free ebook' Seth Godin writes about a new ebook he has organised. In it 70 big thinkers each contribute a page in which they share an idea for you to think about as we head into the new year. Then after thinking about them to do something with what you learn. Download and read it below.
What Matters Now
The overall idea I take from it is how much more we can achieve when we collaborate!

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 7:30:00, 15 Dec 09
Tags: Leadership,Business Development,Collaboration
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Advocacy by Penny Power
I was really pleased when Ecademy founder Penny Power asked if she could quote me on Advocacy in her new book Know Me, Like Me, Follow Me - what online social networking means for you and your business.

Penny was at a meeting when I presented and subsequently wrote about here a couple of years ago on networking for advocates. She wrote about this in her book and what she learned about advocacy.

"The greatest aspect of 'like me' is is the power of creating advocates around your knowledge, people who will 'talk about you when you are not in the room'. To me this is real network value. 'Know me' cannot achieve this ... you cannot achieve this advocacy without having a relationship with that advocate."

Read more from Penny at the Know Me, Like Me, Follow Me Blog.

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 8:08:00, 26 Nov 09
Tags: Like,Business Networking,Know,Networking for Advocates,Business Development,Ecademy,Advocacy
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Networking Lessons from the Law of Contract
One of the first subjects I studied in Law was the Law of Contract. In order for a contract to be a legally binding agreement a number of distinct elements need to be in place:

1. Offer and acceptance
2. Intention
3. Capacity
4. Consent
5. Consideration
6. Legality
7. Possibility

These indicate that the parties have not just discussed a possibility, but have a definite agreement about a desired outcome and the specific things required by each to fulfill this.

There are great lessons to be learned from this in networking. Many people are not really getting the most out of their networking. They are just meeting people and hoping for the best. Success in networking is something that will remain a possibility rather than a probability.

Those that follow a structured and systematic approach to building trusted relationships do really well. They do the things they need to do for others in their network and those others will know what they need too.

It is a good idea to get together with your really good business contacts and find out if you can agree specific things to help you each achieve your business goals.

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 9:00:00, 23 Nov 09
Tags: Business Networking,Strategy,Trust,Business Development,Collaboration
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Does it really cost that much?
I have attended a few meetings recently where the attendees seemed to expect a professionally run event with profitable results, but without really paying anything. Do they all provide their services at no real cost?

Someone emailed me recently to ask about a networking event "does a meal really cost that much at ...?"

I answered "No, but running a professional organisation with high quality facilitation and attendees does. They are not a non profit!"

Networking in the right group means building trusted relationship that both increase the speed and lower the cost of business development. What value do you place on that?

See these blog posts for more on speed and cost of business development in business networking:

The value of networking for advocates
Saving time with organised 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 8:45:00, 05 Oct 09
Tags: Speed,Business Networking,Cost,Business Networking Groups,Trust,Business Development
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You don't get fit by joining a gym...
Yesterday I wrote in 'It takes more than just showing up' about the importance of following up and building relationships in effective business networking. Later on I received an email from my colleague Martin Davies with the following quote.

"You don't get fit by joining a gym...
You don't learn to swim by reading a book...
You don't build relationships without meeting people...
"

He went on to say that if you follow a good process, however, you will get the results you want, whether it be fitness, swimming or building business relationships. A good networking group provides the process and the environment that allows you to turn contacts into relationships that result in business for you.

For a great story about this follow the link to 'Winning a Major New Client through A Networking Relationship'.

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 10:10:00, 17 Sep 09
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Business Networking Techniques,Networking for Advocates,Business Networking Groups,NRG,Networking Relationships,Business Development
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