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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

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The missing ingredient in business networking
I spent a day at the start of this week with some colleagues and associates in a regular monthly meeting for the leaders of our NRG Business Groups. The focus of the day is all about how we can help each other build our respective businesses through the collective power of our shared networks. The meeting is facilitated to keep our overall objectives in mind whilst enjoying it and the social element is an essential part of the mix. Our discussions and interactions are primarily about building business, but they are also about supporting each other and sharing ideas, knowledge and best practice.

Someone pointed out to me that the overall experience was very similar to many business and networking meetings. There was, however, one big difference. We were focused on an ongoing strategy for helping to build each others business rather than just networking for the sake of it.

For many people the missing ingredient in their networking is focus. They have a general idea, but no specific reasons why they are doing it. Without that focus it can be difficult to work out where to network, who to network with, when to do it, what it is really all about and how to go about it.

Maybe the title of this post should be the 6 missing ingredients...

If you know anyone who could do with some help with how to build their network in a strategic way then please share this free download to help them work on the four key steps to building business through networking - http://bit.ly/NRGpdf

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:08:00, 16 Jun 10
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Advocate Marketing,Advocacy,Building Your Network
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Do business networks collaborate or compete?
"Avoid the competition" was a comment from Courtney Sperlazza in response to my post entitled What is the right approach in business networking? She went on to explain:

"I don't mean to avoid your competitors. What I mean is, avoid the concept of competition. You can work collaboratively with anyone. Even if you're in similar industries, there is something the other guy can do that you can't do and vice versa. Some of us call those things opportunities!"

One of the first steps we encourage in our advocacy model to how business networking really works is to clarify your target market. This is not so you can sell to them at networking events. It is so you can work out who else deals with them and so who you should be networking with to create those opportunities for each other. Real networking is a collaborative activity where you get to build a sustainable route to market for the long term. As I have written before it is not the face to face equivalent of cold calling.

Imagine my surprise this morning when I received a note that said that someone could not attend a meeting of one of our groups because they were a member of a competing network!

Doesn't that miss the point of networks being places to collaborate?

The best example for the networks to set is to collaborate with other networks.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 10:13:00, 08 Jun 10
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Networking Groups,Business Networking Groups,Collaboration,Advocacy
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Can you do too much networking?
Someone raised the possibility that they may be doing too much networking on the 4networking business forum last week. So can you spend too much time networking?

There are many people who spend too much time attending networking groups & events because they are not really networking. They are really engaged in the face to face equivalent of cold calling. They attend loads of meetings & broadcast loudly, but don't listen. They meet as many people as they can, but never have any time for others. Their idea of following up is to add you to their database. I could go on, but you know who they are. They don't really engage, share or build long term mutually beneficial business relationships.

There are some people who are networking with the best intentions, but don't give themselves enough time for following up. They may need to improve the balance of their networking time and do more one to one interactions between larger meetings.

Those people that 'get' how networking really works invest their time in building relationships with other people they have things in common with. They know that it takes time and you have to know, like, rate and trust someone before you will advocate them. They know this time is worth it as one 'Advocate' is worth far more than lots of one off transactions. They attend meetings to strengthen existing relationships and build some new ones. They get to share business, support, knowledge and have fun doing it too. This sort of networking is legitimate and necessary work time stuff and you probably don't have the time to do enough of it.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 12:16:00, 01 Jun 10
Tags: Like,Networking for Advocates,Advocate Marketing,Networking Tips,Rate,Advocacy,Advocate,Business Networking,How Networking Works,Know,Trust,Networking Relationships
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How to identify the key people for your network
If you know your target market (or markets) precisely you can work out where you need to network. Some people think that this means finding people in the target market to 'network' with. This is not networking, but direct selling. In fact it is often the face to face equivalent of cold calling.

The important aspect of this in the networking context is you can then identify the key people for you who have access and influence in your target market. This is important in both finding the networking groups to join and who you should be inviting to join you in your groups.

As I wrote yesterday in 'How networking really works' you need to be building relationships with these key people. These people have access to many opportunities for you in your target market so are likely to be operating in the same market as you. They may well provide services that are complementary to yours.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:21:00, 13 May 10
Tags: Like,Business Networking,How Networking Works,Know,Business Networking Groups,Advocate Marketing,Trust,Business Development,Rate,Advocate,Advocacy
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How networking really works
I sometimes meet people who run around frantically to as many events as possible. They meet as many different people as they can and deliver their 'elevator pitch' as often as possible. In my book that is not networking. It is the face to face equivalent of cold calling. It is difficult and time consuming.

The key to successful networking is building strong relationships where you get to know, like, rate and trust each other. As I have written before:

"You don't build profitable business relationships by hardly getting to know lots of different people!"

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, 11 May 10
Tags: Like,Business Networking,How Networking Works,Know,Business Networking Groups,Advocate Marketing,Trust,Business Development,Rate,Advocate,Advocacy
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Do you meet the right people when you go networking?
In a conversation with the partner in a professional firm last week he said "I know networking is about building relationships and not selling directly, but I never meet the right people". I asked him who the right people were and he tried to explain. He found it difficult and rambled on a bit.

I suggested (gently) that he might like to give it some thought because then he would have an idea where he might find the 'right people'. He asked if I had any tips that might help and I said he could start with where his referrals came from today. He mentioned a couple of sources which was great because now he will be looking for networking groups with others like them.

I also suggested that when he finds that group he should invite his current referral sources too. That way he will be building his Inner Network* and strengthening the relationships with his current Advocates*.


*Explained in more detail in the NRG Advocate Marketing System.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 11:54:00, 23 Apr 10
Tags: Business Networking,Networking Groups,Networking for Advocates,Advocate Marketing,Networking Tips,Networking System,Professional Networking,Inner Network,Advocate,Advocacy
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A simple equation for networking successfully
'Can you make networking really simple?' was the headline last week when I wrote about making networking simple. Someone asked me if I could give them a simple equation for successful networkng. Here is what I gave them:
plan + structured approach = successful networking

First of all you need to know what you actually want from your networking. Then you can do the things that will ensure you achieve your goals.

At NRG-networks we encourage people to use the NRG Advocate Marketing System. The 5 simple steps include the essential components in this equation - your plan and a structured approach;

1. Set your networking objectives
2. Identify your target market
3. Develop your proposition
4. Define your inner network
5. Build your advocates

Read more about this business networking system here.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 16:30:00, 06 Apr 10
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Advocate Marketing,NRG,Networking System,Advocacy
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Advocacy by Penny Power
I was really pleased when Ecademy founder Penny Power asked if she could quote me on Advocacy in her new book Know Me, Like Me, Follow Me - what online social networking means for you and your business.

Penny was at a meeting when I presented and subsequently wrote about here a couple of years ago on networking for advocates. She wrote about this in her book and what she learned about advocacy.

"The greatest aspect of 'like me' is is the power of creating advocates around your knowledge, people who will 'talk about you when you are not in the room'. To me this is real network value. 'Know me' cannot achieve this ... you cannot achieve this advocacy without having a relationship with that advocate."

Read more from Penny at the Know Me, Like Me, Follow Me Blog.

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 8:08:00, 26 Nov 09
Tags: Like,Business Networking,Know,Networking for Advocates,Business Development,Ecademy,Advocacy
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