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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

How to identify your typical customer
Over the last couple of weeks I have run a couple of effective business networking seminars and spoken on the subject at a conference for business consultants.

On each occasion people have struggled with the subject of their target market. When networking (as in marketing generally) it is essential to focus on a specific market segment. If you have more than one type of client then the most effective thing is to pick the client type most relevant to the people you are with. So, if you are with other owners of other service businesses, think about who their clients are likely to be. Talk about your typical clients in the markets they operate in.

During one session an accountant helped explain the point by sharing how he always focused on one specialism, International Tax. His firm can do other work, but that is his primary focus and he gets great results. Over time that is the expertise that he has become renowned for. He also knows where to invest his time and effort in finding referrals for the people that can refer him.

You can hear some more on this subject of target market in a recent NRG Podcast, 'Your target market – Who is your right person?'

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 9:00:00, 19 Nov 08
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Networking for Advocates,NRG
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Networking produces results that grow exponentially
In a recent post, 'Networking saves Time and Money', I wrote about how your cost of doing business reduces over time with networking.

It was great to see in my inbox today the latest mailing from the IoD (Institute of Directors). They agree on the cost effective nature of networking and are urging their members to pursue more networking opportunities:

"If you’re tightening your company spend over the unsettling months ahead, networking is an effective resource to leverage your contacts and generate new business.

Aggressively pursue your networking opportunities over the turbulent months ahead; be seen and be heard while your competitors hibernate. Networking produces results that grow exponentially; people do business with people they know.
"

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 14:10:00, 05 Nov 08
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works
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Join a networking group and save 2 years
A number of NRG-networks members shared some experiences recently on how long it took them to get results from networking. Each of them owned a specialist consulting business operating with Corporate Customers. Typically it had taken them a couple of years to work out the importance of being structured and targeted with their networking.

At the end one of them said the reason that he liked our NRG groups so much was that they were structured so he could identify and build his Inner Network much more quickly than in other groups he had tried and in a lot of random activity. In fact it had taken him 2 months to achieve what had taken him 2 years elsewhere.

If your networking seems to be going nowhere take some time to work out what the right groups are for you and your business. A good question to start with is "Where do the owners of other businesses with similar markets to you network?"

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 9:00:00, 03 Nov 08
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,NRG
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Networking saves time and money
I was involved in a meeting with owners of small businesses last week. One of the topics was the importance of networking in a recession. The consensus of each of the owners was that, for them, networking is the most cost effective way of building a route to market. Once trusted relationships are in place opportunities are consistently uncovered and shared. You do not have to keep hunting for that one off elusive piece of business.

Your return on investment keeps multiplying as you maintain the relationships.

Another benefit of networking that is little appreciated is this:
Over time your costs actually decrease!
Once you find the right networking groups and your inner network you spend more time with fewer people.

Compare that to the costs involved in other marketing.
You only continue to get results by continuing to spend more.

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 11:00:00, 31 Oct 08
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Networking for Advocates,Trust,Networking Relationships
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Network like no tomorrow
There is a great quote from James Caplin in this article, Network like no tomorrow, by FT Columnist, Stefan Stern:

“Good networkers form mutually beneficial relationships with other people,” Mr Caplin says. “It’s all about being reciprocal – being of value to someone else who is in turn valuable to you. Effective networking is really ‘a way of being’ – knowing what you have to offer and being prepared to offer it – rather than a sudden burst of counter-productive activity during a break at a conference.”

According to the article James Caplin is working on a book on networking provisionally entitled 'I hate networking'. I look forward to reading it.

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 8:33:00, 31 Oct 08
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Networking Relationships
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How staying in touch brings rewards
I was having a drink with a friend recently who was coming to the end of a contract. He was considering a change of business as he had nothing to move to. During our conversation it became clear that he was only considering something different because that appeared to be somehow easier.

I asked if he knew anyone that could help and he said he couldn't think of anyone. Over the next hour or so I got him to identify 6 Companies that were likely to need his expertise. I then got him to tell me about the people he had worked with & for in the last couple of years. We identified 6 of those that he would phone the next day & arrange to meet for a coffee or drink.

During one of the telephone calls he was asked if he was available for a new project in a couple of weeks!

He is now committed to keeping in contact with these people on a regular basis.

I don't suppose that you know people that you should stay in touch with? What about the people you have worked with & rate highly. People that you can help & advocate, because if you can do that for them they just may be able to do it for you.

I spoke more about the people you know in a recent NRG Podcast, 'How to start building your network'

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 8:01:00, 29 Oct 08
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Networking for Advocates,Networking Relationships,Networking Follow Up
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Repetition, Reputation & Results
I attended a marketing presentation for the owners of small businesses last week.

During one of the discussions people shared the number of different marketing activities they undertook. The average was about 4 or 5 with only a couple including advertising.

The general view was 'advertising doesn't work'. Most of the people who said that had tried it once. Usually with something like Yellow Pages, a local version or an equivalent online directory.

The people who were successful in advertising did it consistently & persistently.
They used media which was read, listened to or watched by their target market.
For them it was not a one off or occasional activity.

This reminded me of people who say 'networking doesn't work'.

It doesn't if you generally meet people once or twice and expect something first.
It does when you get to know people over time & help them with advice, support and introductions. That is where Repetition, Reputation and Results comes in.
Think of them as the 3Rs of Networking.

You get to know people by repeated activity and meeting regularly.
This means joining a group then consistently attending, and contributing to that group.

You build your reputation by what you give to others. The knowledge you share, the support you provide and the introductions you make.

This motivates others to give back to you and deliver you the results you deserve.

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, 23 Oct 08
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Networking Relationships
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Successful people tend to be helpful people
I found this useful article on networking by Nigel Temple, the UK based marketing consultant, trainer, speaker and author.

Towards the end of the article Nigel suggests that you adopt a giving attitude in your networking & writes,

"Successful people tend to be helpful people. One of the reasons for this is that many people have helped them to get where they are today. They tend to be happy to give information, advice and (when you get to know them), introductions.

I suggest that you do what they do: give without expectation of return.

It's impossible to give in this life, without getting something of equal or greater value back in return
"

To read the full article go to nigeltemple.com/articles_networking.htm

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 17:48:00, 22 Oct 08
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works
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Normal rules apply
Building Relationships over time is central to Networking.

I spoke to someone earlier this week who I had met previously at his first networking event. I asked him how it had been and he said he didn't think it was for him as nothing had come of it. I meet many people who seem to think that a single appearance or one off appearances in different groups is enough. The phone will ring continually, your inbox will be full of orders and you can sit back and relax. Yeah, right!

The normal rules of building relationships apply. Think of it like making friends. It takes time. Often being in the same place without even talking for the first few occasions. Good networking groups will shorten the time that it takes to get to know the other members, but it takes commitment to the group & not just one or two visits. The purpose of your first couple of visits should be to assess whether the group is right for you and your business and whether you are right for the group.

Once you find groups that are right for your business commit your time to attend regularly and build those relationships.

- Make contact with other members
- Find things in common
- Get to know people and follow up
- As they get comfortable with you they will be ready to meet 121
- When you meet 121 find out how you can help
- Educate people about you, your business and your needs
- Do things to help
- Make introductions
- Build your reputation & personal brand
- Go out of your way to advocate others

Then guess what? Good stuff happens to you too.

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 12:28:00, 10 Oct 08
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Networking Relationships
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Why networking can be a waste of time
I presented to a group recently on how to get results from networking. The first part of the session was all about the things to consider first. These first steps are discussed in a recent NRG podcast, why are you networking and are you prepared?.

During the session one person said that he attended at least 3 networking meetings a week, but was struggling to generate any results. In fact, one of the other attendees shared that this person had developed a reputation for himself as someone who never followed up!

We dug a little deeper and he said he had never asked himself why he was networking. That meant he had never identified where he should network and what he was actually networking for. He simply thought it was something he ought to do and so he attended everything he could. Where possible he avoided any commitment to joining and his idea of a good event was one where all the people were new. This meant he was spending all his spare time on attending meetings and no time on following up and building profitable business relationships. He was wasting a lot of time.

Once he worked out why he was networking he worked out where to concentrate his efforts. He now invests his time productively in the groups that are right for him and his business and he is saving himself a lot of time and effort too.

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, 08 Oct 08
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,NRG,Networking Follow Up
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