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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

Walking the walk and not just talking the talk
Successful networkers build their reputation at the same time as building relationships. Networking, both online and offline, is a great way of building your reputation by sharing your expertise. Your advocates can then make connections for you when the right opportunity presents itself.

I get many offers from people interested in speaking at NRG business networking events. I explain that we concentrate on Practical Business and Personal Development in the Seminars at our Networking Events and that priority is given to NRG members when choosing presenters. They are not Sales Pitches and by educating and informing other members and guests the speakers build their own reputation and help others achieve their own goals. This enhances the overall networking experience and strengthens the relationships being built.

Many of the offers recently have been from 'Social Media Experts'. I always speak to people I trust about prospective speakers. I also google them to check out their online presence and contribution. In one or two instances even these 'social media experts' have only had a limited presence online. Can you really speak authoritatively about Social Media with a handful of followers on Twitter and even fewer updates?

Much of your reputation comes from what you do rather than what you say. Make sure you are doing the things that match and enhance the message you are giving to your network. If you are referred to someone then that person will probably speak to others and check you out online too.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 9:01:00, 11 Aug 09
Tags: Business Networking,Business Networking Techniques,Business Networking Groups,Social Media,Business Development,Managing reputation
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Who do your potential clients listen to?
According to the survey I wrote about in my column for the National Networker, Reasons for Networking, most people are Networking for more business.

If networking isn't generating the results you want it could be for a whole number of reasons. One reason could be that you are spending time with people with no access to your market and no real understanding of what you do. The likelihood is that many of the people you meet may not have access to your target market or anyone with influence in your target market. It's worth taking some time identifying other suppliers to the people you deal with. Maybe ask some of your clients who they take advice from.

You can then start to go about your networking strategically and ensure your word of mouth is getting to the right people with the right message. This includes joining the networking groups where others work in similar markets to you and building that network of advocates to spread positive word of mouth in the right ears.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 15:42:00, 10 Aug 09
Tags: Business Networking,Business Networking Techniques,Strategy,Target Market,Networking for Advocates,Business Networking Groups,Networking Relationships,Inner Network
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No problem selling once you find the right person?
In a One2One meeting last week the management consultant I was with said "I have no problem with selling once I get in front of the right person". In the last few years that is probably a sentence I have heard more often than any other. In fact I recorded a podcast on the subject, 'Your target market – Who is your right person?'. Have a listen here:

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:02:00, 07 Aug 09
Tags: Business Networking,Business Networking Techniques,Target Market,Selling
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Facebook proved faster than the Police!
One of my wife's sisters is visiting the UK from the US currently. On Sunday her friends & family back home were trying to contact her urgently as her husband was in hospital after being in a bad car accident. He was the only person with her phone number and was in no state to be able to give it to anyone.

About 7 in the evening UK time my daughter spotted something had happened on her cousin's facebook status. One of my Sister-in-Law's neighbours had also sent me a direct message after finding me amongst her Facebook contacts. I phoned my Sister-in-Law who was then able to phone another neighbour back home to get the full picture.

A few hours later the local UK police knocked at her parents house with a message that she needed to get in contact with people back in the US. The information travelled by Facebook much quicker than it took the police. The Police performance was still pretty impressive too given the limited information they had to work on - surname + town.

Is this relevant to how useful Social Networks & Social Media can be for you?

I think it's a powerful illustration of a revolution in communications. How many important conversations are you missing if you are not online?

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 9:02:00, 06 Aug 09
Tags: Social Networking,Business Networking,Facebook,Online Networking,Conversations
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Where to find the people you don't know yet
Yesterday I wrote about identifying the people already in your network. The next step in networking is building on that network so that you surround yourself with the right people for you and your business. You can then do the things to ensure that you build that network to produce the right results for you and your business.

Listen to this podcast for more on the subject:

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 9:02:00, 05 Aug 09
Tags: Podcast,Business Networking,How Networking Works,Business Networking Techniques
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How to get started with this networking stuff
I was chatting with someone last week who had just started her own leadership development consultancy. She had recently left corporate life and invested in a franchise business. We spoke about the importance of networking and how to get started. She explained that she had begun by contacting all of the people she already knew.

I congratulated her on doing this because many people that I meet forget about the people they already know and concentrate all their efforts on meeting new ones. In this podcast, 'How to start building your network', I talk about how to identify the people already in your network. Listen here:

I don't suppose there are people who know, like and trust you that you haven't been in contact with for some time!

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 9:02:00, 04 Aug 09
Tags: Podcast,Like,Business Networking,How Networking Works,Know,Business Networking Techniques,Trust,Networking Relationships
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Does networking work for your sort of business?
Last week I was asked by an Independent Professional if people with her type of business got business through networking. Her belief was that if it worked for them then all she had to do was work out how they went about it and adopt a similar approach.

I pointed to a few similar consultants and explained how they went about their networking. If you are wondering how it all works then spend some time researching where business people like you network successfully. That will give you some pointers to the networks you should join. You may well find that they will help get you started by sharing their experiences and mentoring you.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 9:02:00, 03 Aug 09
Tags: Business Networking,Business Networking Techniques,Business Networking Groups,Mentoring
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Saving time with organised networking
"Why would anyone join a group just for networking? said a Corporate HR Director to me last week. I explained that, as a business owner, meeting with people regularly who have a shared commitment to building business relationships is highly efficient. In this podcast I share an example of how networking in a group saved me about 3 years in business development time:


In 'Networking saves time and money' I wrote about how networking can save you money as well as time!

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 31 Jul 09
Tags: Business Networking,Business Networking Techniques,Business Networking Groups,Networking Relationships,Business Development
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Networking is not all about working the room
Last week I was chatting with some friends at a party and some new people were introduced. One asked about my business. I explained that we ran business networking groups for the owners and directors of service businesses and partners in professional firms. She said "I couldn't do that networking stuff. All that walking into a room full of strangers and working the room is far too difficult"

Her comments reflect a common concern amongst people who have no networking experience or those who have had a bad experience. Some organisations even reinforce the view that all you need is to 'work the room'. I spoke with someone who runs a business organisation who said "We do networking events - we stick people in a room and let them get on with it!" Some 'networking' training courses are focused solely on the subject of working the room. Some people are comfortable with that approach, but it's the minority in my experience.

My own view is that networking is about building mutually profitable relationships over time. Often the best environment for that is in a group where some level of facilitation is provided to help you achieve your business networking goals. There are plenty out there so try a few and find the ones that suit you and your business.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 30 Jul 09
Tags: Business Networking,Business Networking Techniques,Business Networking Groups,Working the Room,Networking Relationships
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What simple tips do you have for networking?
In 'Is offline networking still relevant?' I wrote about the interview I did with Rod Sloane. After answering that question he asked if I had any simple networking tips. I answered that follow up was the big thing that makes people stand out & to be effective at follow up you need to learn to listen.

In a recent survey of first time guests at NRG networking events we found that the top three reasons for networking are:

1. More Business
2. New connections
3. Help with business issues

The most successful networkers build relationships by following up quickly and providing referrals, introductions and help to others. If you listen for where you can do the same and do it then others will do it for you.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 29 Jul 09
Tags: Business Networking,Business Networking Techniques,Networking Connections,Trust,Referrals,Networking Follow Up
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