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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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Your past can connect you with your future
At a networking meeting lunch last week someone said to the person sitting next to me "what did you do before this new business of yours?" He talked about his previous Corporate role and said "but that won't be relevant to anyone here". He could not have been more wrong!

One person had worked for another division of the same corporate and another was engaged in a project with them currently. It's a big mistake to think that the people you used to work with are not relevant or not interested in what you are doing now. As you build new relationships that will be very important in the future don't forget the people you have worked with in the past. You have already invested in these relationships and built trust. If you have moved on then they might have too.

In 'How to get started with this networking stuff' I wrote about the importance of keeping up with existing relationships.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:08:00, 19 Nov 09
Tags: Business Networking,Trust,Networking Relationships
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You had to dance
I remember an Uncle telling me about Saturday nights at the local dance hall. It was the night when young men and women would go to meet their dates or in the hope of finding someone to date. My Uncle told me that in order to get to know someone you first had to dance. This was easier when it was organised to ensure everyone got to dance with someone. Other times you just had to pluck up enough courage and ask a stranger.

I was reflecting with a couple of people yesterday that this is very similar to networking. You have to have the equivalent of a dance before you can get to know the other person and build trust in a business relationship. In networking that means having a meaningful conversation and creating a connection first.

The people I was chatting with all said they found it easier to do this at networking events where there is some facilitation and structure.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 15:19:00, 13 Nov 09
Tags: Business Networking,Business Networking Techniques,Business Networking Groups,Facilitation,Trust
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Does your website tell us about you or some Corporate We?
In an excellent talk at an NRG networking lunch in London this week Ecademy founder Penny Power was sharing some of the insights from her new book. Know Me, Like Me, Follow Me is all about what online social networking means for you and your business.

One of the points was that building trust is fundamental. Your clients are more interested in the person behind the brand not the brand. One of the mistakes that small businesses make is to try and look bigger and more corporate than they really are. You can see this in many websites which are all about some 'Corporate We'. People are much more interested in YOU than that.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 11:43:00, 12 Nov 09
Tags: Like,Social Networking,Business Networking,Know,Trust,Social Media,NRG,Online Networking
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How to really connect with someone
Last week in 'How many business cards are in that desk drawer?' I wrote about the meaningless swapping of business cards that sometimes takes place in networking.

Networking is not about swapping business cards and moving on. You need to engage in conversation first to start the relationship. Listen to more about really connecting in this podcast:

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 16:41:00, 09 Nov 09
Tags: Podcast,Like,Business Networking,Know,Networking Connections,Trust,Networking Relationships,Networking Follow Up,Conversations
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Do you spend too much time meeting new people?
In a couple of seminars and One2One sessions this week we have discussed the amount of time spent on Networking. We have then broken that down into time spent in different aspects of networking:

1. Meeting new people
2. Getting to know existing contacts better
3. Spending time with your Inner Network
4. Building trust with your close contacts or advocates

Most people agree that before people buy from you or refer you they need to know, like and trust you and that takes time. You need to meet first, but then you need to keep meeting the people you like to really get to know them and build that trust.

The people I discussed this with during the week were spending nearly all their networking time on meeting new people with almost no time left for the most important relationship stuff. Getting to know the people they like and have already met. Then building trust with the ones they know and like.

Do you need look at your networking time?

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:08:00, 06 Nov 09
Tags: Like,Business Networking,How Networking Works,Know,Trust,Selling,Referrals,Networking Relationships,Inner Network
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Ways of helping your advocates to refer you
I spoke at an event last night about the NRG Networking Advocacy Model*. The model suggests that effective networking is a result of building trusted relationships with your Inner Network. Others that share the same target market as you and provide a complementary service to yours. Over time you will actively refer and introduce some of these as you get to know, like, trust and rate them. Some of these will form your Advocate Network, the small group of people who regularly go out of their way to find introductions and referrals for you.

The speakers at the Referral Institute Conference last week all reinforced this view of networking. Sarah Owen addressed the subject of helping others to advocate you as you advocate them. The very act of advocating someone else is motivation for them, but only if they know! Unless you educate them on this and what you are looking for they will probably miss opportunities.

In your One2One interactions have you made sure they really know what you do and where? Can they pass on why you are good and what you love about your business? Do they know how you want to be promoted and who specifically you want to meet? Is there anything else that would make you stand out?

They may be saying things about you that you could use yourself.

*My previous post 'The Advocacy Model: Develop Advocates' has more detail and links to further posts on this subject.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 14:38:00, 03 Nov 09
Tags: Like,Business Networking,Know,Business Networking Techniques,Networking for Advocates,Trust,NRG,Referrals,Inner Network
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Are you stuck doing lots of networking with little reward?
At the Referral Institute UK & Ireland Conference yesterday Mike Macedonio spoke about people who spend a lot of time networking, but who are effectively invisible. He spoke about the VCP process (tm) which is the acronym Dr. Ivan Misner uses for Visibility, Credibility, and Profitability.

Mike explained that you have to move through these stages in a referral relationship. This takes time, effort and commitment, but people often spend their time getting to meet lots & lots of people without ever getting to really know anyone. In practice profitability is achieved by going deep and establishing trusted relationships.

Visibility is only established when you know who someone is and what they do and they know the same about you.

Credibility is achieved when you each perceive each other to be reliable and worthy of confidence.

Profitability is when you are both consistently and proactively referring business to each other.

Does that mean that Visibility Networking is not important? No, you have to establish visibility first and that sort of networking will often be the place where you can introduce and find referrals for those in your Inner Network.

Read more about this in Mike's article 'Just Ask. Right? . . . No.'

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 14:03:00, 28 Oct 09
Tags: Business Networking,Business Networking Techniques,Trust,Referrals,Networking Relationships
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More on what networking is not
I met someone recently through networking who asked for a One2One meeting to 'explore possible ways of working together'. I agreed to the meeting, but the experience was entirely different. The other person did not approach it as a mutual exchange amd presented his business for the entire time. Instead of a One2One it was more of a One@One!

Building trusted relationships is fundamental to getting results from business networking. These take time and include many exchanges of help, support and referrals. It is often within One on One or One2One meetings that these exchanges take place. Make sure you approach One2Ones in the right spirit of building relationships through mutual exchange.

See 'How to have a good One2One meeting' for more on the subject.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 10:00:00, 26 Oct 09
Tags: Business Networking,One2One,Trust,Networking Relationships
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Faster relationship building with Social Networks
In 'Can you accelerate trust?' I wrote about the process of building trust in business networking. The question of the time it takes came up again today in an NRG seminar on building business with the effective use of offline & online networks.

It takes time and regular interaction to build relationships as this graphic illustrates:



The old tools we had - address book, phone, mail and various face to face interactions have been supplemented by email and now social media and social networks.

That can help to make it all much quicker!

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:40:00, 07 Oct 09
Tags: Social Networking,Business Networking,Online,Facebook,Business Networking Techniques,Trust,Social Media,Networking Relationships
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Does it really cost that much?
I have attended a few meetings recently where the attendees seemed to expect a professionally run event with profitable results, but without really paying anything. Do they all provide their services at no real cost?

Someone emailed me recently to ask about a networking event "does a meal really cost that much at ...?"

I answered "No, but running a professional organisation with high quality facilitation and attendees does. They are not a non profit!"

Networking in the right group means building trusted relationship that both increase the speed and lower the cost of business development. What value do you place on that?

See these blog posts for more on speed and cost of business development in business networking:

The value of networking for advocates
Saving time with organised networking

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

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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:45:00, 05 Oct 09
Tags: Speed,Business Networking,Cost,Business Networking Groups,Trust,Business Development
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