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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

The same networking rules apply in the real world & the online world
I just watched this great video posted by Debbie Weill on Youtube. In it Seth Godin answers the question "Is Social Networking important for small business?" and provides some great insight into how to network.



Thanks to Nicholas Braak for signposting this on Twitter & Ecademy.

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, 05 Mar 09
Tags: Social Networking,Business Networking,How Networking Works,Word of Mouth
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10 tips for building business with the effective use of offline & online networks
You could be forgiven for thinking there was a battle being fought between offline & online networks with some of the messages from organisations in both camps. The reality is that the online networks give us a really effective tool for supporting our offline business networking activities. They only do that, however, if we go about both activities strategically.

I have been an active member of online networks since I discovered them in 2003. In an article on the NRG-networks website I share my top 10 tips for building business with the effective use of offline & online networks:

1. Get comfortable with how networking works
2. Develop a plan
3. Identify the people you already know, like & trust
4. Identify the offline networks to join
5. Show a genuine interest in other people
6. Always follow up contacts
7. Identify the online networks to join and start a blog
8. Make online contacts and build relationships first
9. Arrange contact meetings
10. Develop Networking Advocates

More on each point in the article, top 10 tips for building business with the effective use of offline & online networks

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 9:10:00, 04 Mar 09
Tags: Social Networking,Business Networking,Networking Connections,Networking for Advocates,Networking Follow Up
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The power of leverage in business networking
One dictionary definition of leverage is "the mechanical advantage or power gained by using a lever". To illustrate the idea I remember using a small lever in a school physics lesson to easily move a large rock.

In business networking you can use the equivalent when a trusted contact of yours has influence with someone in your target market with a problem that you can solve. This can be a great way to get in front of much larger organisation than yours. If you build a relationship with someone that regularly deals with these larger businesses then you can use your relationship as the lever for the introduction.

Let me share a story. A few years ago I was running a business where one of our largest suppliers was one of the big mobile phone operators. We got to know some people there and found that we could help with a problem they had. They had insufficient resources to deal with many of the requests they got regarding potential new applications. We offered to help with some of these. Later on they advocated our services as a 'must have' to a couple of large media companies which led to some very lucrative contracts.

We would never have been able to even speak to these media companies without the leverage that was created by someone within another large business introducing us. That leverage was possible as a result of the help we first provided in building the relationship first.

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 16:50:00, 03 Mar 09
Tags: Business Networking,Networking for Advocates,Trust,Networking Relationships
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Do I know you?
These words appeared alongside a stern looking man in an advertisement in a 1950s business publication:

I don’t know who you are.
I don’t know your company.
I don’t know your company’s product.
I don’t know what your company stands for.
I don’t know your company’s customers.
I don’t know your company’s record.
I don’t know your company’s reputation.
Now — what was it you wanted to sell me?


The moral of the ad was that sales starts before your salesman calls and was promoting advertising in McGraw Hill Magazines. The original can still be seen on their website (http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/aboutus/images/ad_maninchair_lg.jpg).

Most business owners and partners in professional firms I meet say they have no problem selling. Their main problem is getting in front of the right person. Building trusted relationships through networking means you can refer your network to their right people and, in turn, be referred to yours.

Becoming an advocate for someone means unreservedly recommending them when you see the right circumstances. When someone is given that sort of word of mouth referral the recipient knows all about their reputation, what they do and why they are there.

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, 25 Feb 09
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Word of Mouth,Networking for Advocates,Trust,Networking Relationships,Networking Introductions
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Walking your talk
Have you noticed the way children learn from what we do rather than what we say? The same is true of the people we network with. They learn far more about us from how we act than from how we introduce ourselves. It is vital in building a trusted relationship that you demonstrate that you are both consistent in what you do and that your actions are congruent with your message.

I hosted one of our NRG business networking groups in Reading on Friday. On Thursday I received a phone call from a business owner who wanted to come and who said to me, "I just wanted to check it was ok with you that I attend as I also run a group for another networking organisation."

I explained to him that we actively encourage cooperation and collaboration between networks. It is one way of demonstrating to our members how we build business relationships in the same way as we facilitate that process for them.

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

business networking | business networking events | business networking podcast

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 17:22:00, 23 Feb 09
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Trust,NRG,Networking Relationships
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How to get something done
"There are three ways to get something done:
do it yourself, employ someone, or forbid your children to do it
."

That's a great and amusing quote from Monta Crane.

Many owners of small businesses and professional firms, however, seem to think there is only one way and they try and do everything themselves. There is nothing more unrewarding than spending a day trying to sort out the administration and accounting that would take a professional little more than minutes per week. We had the tax return deadline in the UK recently and there were more than a few business owners scratching their heads over carrier bags full of a years receipts!

There are a great and growing number of providers of outsourced administration, bookkeeping and VA services. You can 'employ' someone to take on that work very cost effectively whilst you concentrate on building your core business and its value.

Remember that networking is a great way of finding suppliers and team members as well as growing your business.

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

business networking | business networking events | business networking podcast

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 17 Feb 09
Tags: How Networking Works,Networking Objectives
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The difference between Networking and Selling
I attended two recent networking events recently. At each of these I met someone running a property business for the 1st time. Each of them sold properties abroad to UK Nationals.

The first one described how he had got into the business after buying a property himself. His experience had been problematic to say the least and he determined that in his business he would do everything to ensure a great experience for the client so they could buy the property and enjoy it free from hassle and red tape. During our conversation we found we had various interests, friends and acquaintances in common. We agreed to meet up again and explore how we can help each other.

The second one gave the briefest of elevator pitches and then said "Is that something you would be interested in?". The conversation was very brief.

Which of the two do you think will lead to a mutually beneficial and profitable relationship?

You can hear more about the subject in this podcast on the difference between networking and selling.

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

business networking | business networking events | business networking podcast

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 05 Feb 09
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Networking Relationships
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Pay Attention!
I can remember the words of teachers at school instructing us to "Pay Attention" at certain times. They were used to get us to focus on the teacher or the task in hand and stop paying attention to ourselves and other distractions. The teacher knew that we would only learn if we paid attention.

As we start a new working week I know where we are headed as a business in the longer term, the next two to three years. I also know where we are headed in the shorter term, the next two to three months. This means I also know which things are important right now. I also know that if I don't pay attention to them they will not happen.

Paying Attention is important in networking too. Both with regard to your objectives and to the people you meet. When you meet with someone at a networking meeting or in a One2ONe remember to pay full attention to the other person when they are speaking. Only then will you be able to listen fully to what they are saying, ask good questions and be able to identify what they are looking for and how you can help.

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

business networking | business networking events | business networking podcast

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 02 Feb 09
Tags: Business Networking,One2One,How Networking Works,Networking Objectives,Attention
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How to have a good One2One meeting
I had a recent One2One meeting with another Business Owner who asked for some help with One2One meetings. He explained that he was following up with people from his networking groups and was having One2Ones with a couple of people each month. His problem was that nothing was happening afterward. He shared his experience from a couple of these meetings which revealed that he had no agenda and was setting no expectation for what might happen next.

When agreeing to meet someone for a One2One for the first time in a Networking context your aim should be to establish whether you are going to go forward & build a business relationship or not. You don't need a formal agenda, but there are some things that help in the long term when you agree them up front:

1. The amount of time you will both set aside for the meeting
2. What you want to learn about each others background and business.
3. Is there a fit between your business and theirs and could you see yourself being able to introduce them to other trusted contacts of yours. What would need to happen for that to take place?
4. What the next steps will be.

I use this simple mind map to make sure I keep these things in mind.



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

business networking | business networking events | business networking podcast

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 16:24:00, 27 Jan 09
Tags: Business Networking,One2One,NRG,Networking Relationships,Networking Follow Up
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Who do you already know, like and trust?
I have used this quote from Bob Burg before:

"All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to
those people they know, like and trust.
"

I meet many business owners and professionals who end up constantly searching for new contacts when networking. It seems that it is very easy to forget those that we already have a relationship with.

I met with a partner in a consultancy firm last week who had carried out a business diagnostic for nearly 100 companies a couple of years back. What a great database of ready made contacts without having to meet anyone new!

In a recent podcast, 'How to start building your network', I spoke about identifying those people you already know or have worked with. A little bit of reconnecting can produce brilliant results.

Some of those people already know, like and trust you!

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

business networking | business networking events | business networking podcast

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 15:29:00, 20 Jan 09
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,NRG,Networking Relationships
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