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Business Networking Blog

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 | business networking events | business networking podcast
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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
Get 7 networking secrets for business success

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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
Get 7 networking secrets for business success

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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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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
Get 7 networking secrets for business success

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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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Getting referrals by being the answer to their problems
Last week someone introduced himself at one of the Networking Groups I facilitate by saying that one of his main client groups were charities who often pay too much of a particular type of tax. He didn't just say he was an accountant. There were immediate referrals because he had succinctly expressed the help he was able to give for a particular problem for a specific market.

In 'Dominating your niche through Business Networking' I wrote about talking about your business with regard to the specific issues that your target market have, where they are and what they will be saying about their problems.

It is much easier to find referrals for someone obviously the answer to a specific problem for specific organisations.

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

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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 27 Jul 09
Tags: Business Networking,Business Networking Techniques,Networking Groups,Referrals,Proposition
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Why are you networking & are you prepared?
Someone phoned me earlier and said could she come to the next NRG Business Networking Event because someone had told her she should. When I asked what she was networking for she wasn't really sure. I explained the importance of understanding why first.

In the first episode of the NRG Business Networking Podcast I talked about the importance of asking yourself why you are networking. You can then prepare yourself fully to ‘Power up Your Networking’ and get the results you want. Listen below:
Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Get 7 networking secrets for business success

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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 24 Jul 09
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Business Networking Techniques,NRG
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The Personal & Professional in Business Networking
Another question I was asked in my webcast last week on 'How to Effectively Combine Offline & Online Networking'was whether I made a distinction between personal & professional networks in the information I share.

My answer was along the lines that people buy people so it is important to share personal information in both business and personal networking.

I enjoyed reading supporting evidence on this issue in Graham Jones' blog post yesterday about the information you share on your website. In 'Find connections to increase your sales' Graham suggests "the more personal information you reveal, the more likely it is you will connect with your customers".

He goes on to say "As if we didn't know, people buy from people... start telling the world even more about yourself so they can start to truly connect with you".

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

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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 23 Jul 09
Tags: Business Networking,Offline Networking,Networking Connections,Online Networking
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Are online relationships more short term?
I was asked a number of questions in my webcast last week on 'How to Effectively Combine Offline & Online Networking'. One viewer said "It's more important to meet people offline and spend more time, this makes a relationship long term. Online relationships are more short term. Your views please?"

I have built long term relationships from connections I have made online. I have subsequently met many of these people so the relationships are now both online & offline. There are some I have never met because they are in countries I have not visited. This has not stopped us providing support, knowledge and contacts to each other.

I think the real answer is that most people make more offline connections than online ones and a smaller proportion of those online ones develop into real relationships. I wrote briefly about this in 'Quality versus quantity in Business Networking' yesterday.

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

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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:05:00, 22 Jul 09
Tags: quality,Business Networking,Offline Networking,quantity,Online Networking,Networking Relationships
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