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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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The same rules apply for online and offline Word of Mouth
I have written before about online & offline networking needing similar approaches. Recent HP Labs social media research concludes that successful influence on twitter does not depend on a large number of followers. That for information to propagate in a network, individuals need to forward it to the other members, thus having to actively engage rather than passively read it.

This supports the behaviours we identified in our research into offline networking and how to proactively create positive word of mouth.

Success in networking (offline and online) comes down to building a manageable number of relationships amongst people with influence amongst the right audience. Then motivating that network to advocate you.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 13:49:00, 24 Aug 10
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Online,Offline Networking,Word of Mouth,Research
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Are you networking with the right people?
In 'The circles (no more strangers)' Seth Godin writes "It's so tempting to seek out more strangers." He makes the point that trying to reach strangers is expensive and you may very well upset your true fans. He uses an excellent graphic (shown to the right here) to illustrate his point that delighting and overwhelming your true fans is a better strategy than chasing after strangers.

Many business people and professionals give in to this temptation and concentrate their marketing efforts on strangers. Building word of mouth from the people they already know can be neglected and their behaviour in networking can be similar. Their networking is all about finding and connecting directly with the people they don't know.

The key to successful networking is to take the opposite view. Instead of looking for strangers it is about building strong relationships where you get to know, like, rate and trust each other. Instead of spending time with people you don't know try investing quality time in building the right relationships. I think it is worth repeating what I wrote last week in 'How Networking Really Works. A small number of people you get to know really really well can give you access to all the new people you want to meet.

Effective networking is about support and sharing knowledge and finding advocates who recommend and refer you. Good networking groups provide the environment for you to strengthen existing relationships & build new ones. It is much easier and more enjoyable to develop your business in an environment like that.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:08:00, 18 May 10
Tags: Like,Business Networking,Know,Word of Mouth,Marketing,Advocate Marketing,Trust,Rate
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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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Keeping track of your referrals 2
I wrote yesterday about the importance of keeping track of your referrals. You may think that is limited to direct contact of some sort, but I have also found that much of the business generated via the internet has its root in referrals and word of mouth. I was phoned a few weeks ago by someone interested in opening a new NRG Group in an area we don't cover. I asked how he had found us & he said Google. When we met I asked the question again. Whilst it was true that he had found our website via Google it was because someone we both know had suggested me to him. I was able then to thank the referral source and update him with what had happened.

Many of the people who found us via google also turn out to be via Word of Mouth. More than half of the  searches  that found our website include NRG suggesting someone recommended or referred them in the first place.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:57:00, 13 Oct 09
Tags: Business Networking,Search Engines,Word of Mouth,Business Networking Groups,Referrals
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Keeping track of your referrals
I facilitated a networking breakfast on Friday 7 at the end one of the visiting members asked if she could say a few words. She shared that the NRG business networking group she belonged to had been a great factor in her success. Much of her business was a result of the relationships she had made in the group. It was not all, however, down to direct referrals. It was sometimes 2, 3, 4, 5 or even 6 steps removed, but by tracking back to the initial source she knew which relationships were critical to maintain & nurture.

If you don't keep track in this way you run the risk of upsetting your referral sources by not keeping them up to date with the results of the positive Word of Mouth they are generating for you. You could potentially miscalculate the return on investment on some of your activities and end up dropping some for the wrong reasons.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:57:00, 12 Oct 09
Tags: Business Networking,Word of Mouth,Business Networking Groups,Facilitation,Referrals,Inner Network
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Is the idea of a sales funnel now outdated?
In 'McKinsey: Shooting holes in the Sales Funnel' Bob Apollo writes about an article in a recent McKinsey Quarterly review on the consumer decision journey.

Bob writes how the conclusions can equally be applied to the B2B buying process. As Bob says "the increasing importance of word of mouth, recommendation and reputation in the B2B buying process has transferred information power into the hands of the prospect".

I have reported similar findings on the increasing importance of word of mouth previously. So if you are in the the B2B or B2C space make sure that you have a strategy for influencing the people your prospects turn to for this word of mouth.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 14:14:00, 02 Sep 09
Tags: Business Networking,Word of Mouth,Selling,Reputation
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Is offline networking still relevant?
In 'Networking has never been more important' I wrote about the answer I gave to Rod Sloane when he asked "is networking still relevant in 2009". The question comes nearly 40 second into this 2 minute Audio Clip:

Listen!

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 28 Jul 09
Tags: Business Networking,Word of Mouth
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Networking has never been more important
Yesterday I answered the question from small business marketing expert Rod Sloane, "Is Networking still relevant in 2009?". The answer I gave was based on my own experience so it was nice to find some supporting evidence from Neilsen's Global Online Consumer Survey. They found that ninety percent of the 25,000 consumers surveyed noted that they trust recommendations from people they know. The following table summarises their findings:



Building positive word of mouth has, indeed, never been more important.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 16 Jul 09
Tags: Business Networking,Word of Mouth,Marketing
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Offline still most important for Word of Mouth
A couple of years ago in 'Word of Mouth: The real action is offline' I wrote about research from the Keller Fay Group revealing that 72% of all word of mouth interaction took place face-to-face.

A recent report from Mintel finds people still prefer real-life recommendations to online.

So while Social Media and Social Networks are becoming increasingly important in maintaining and building relationships don't forget to focus on the offline.

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, 29 Jun 09
Tags: Social Networking,Business Networking,Offline Networking,Word of Mouth,Social Media,Research,Online Networking
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How do you get your new business?
One of the questions I often ask the owners of small businesses is "How do you get your new business?" The most popular response is "Recommendation or Referral".

The response is to be expected, but what is often surprising is that many of these people do not know who gave them the recommendation or referred them. For some of them this leads to much unproductive 'networking' activity almost entirely focused on meeting lots of people.

The best networkers know exactly who is referring them. This means they can concentrate their business development time with the relationships that really matter to them. In a really productive networking group you will often find at least one sub group of people that are using the regular meeting to maintain these quality relationships. These people will spend most of their 'networking' time in regular groups and One2One time with the members.

Do you know who is referring you and where you should be investing your networking time?

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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business networking | business networking events | business networking podcast


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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 15:44:00, 08 Jun 09
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Word of Mouth,Referrals,Networking Relationships
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