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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

Linkedin Endorsements And Business Relationships

EndorseLinkedin recently introduced a new 'Endorsements' feature. This is different to the 'Recommendations' feature which still remains and is something you can do quickly and easily. Many business owners have used Linkedin to connect to people and are not really using it as a powerful tool for interacting with these connections. You can now endorse the people in your network for their skills and expertise as a simple way of doing more.


Business relationships are built by a series of interactions over time and networks like Linkedin give you tools to interact in between the times you meet. Helping others meet their business goals motivates others to do the same for you so why not get in the habit of endorsing the people within your network that you rate. You'll be helping them and others will endorse you for the skills and expertise you promote.


Take a look at this brief presentation from Linkedin on how the Endorsement Feature works.


As you endorse people then you will also get more visitors to your profile so take advanatage of the new facility to embed presentations and videos on your profile. You can see where I have added these in the Background Section of my profile on Linkedin in this screenshot below:

Dave Clarke Linkedin Profile Screenshot


Good Networking!

Dave Clarke



Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 15:26:47, 17 Dec 12
Tags: Business Networking,Linkedin,Social Networking,Endorsements,Advocacy
31975 Views 1 Comments

Finding The Time For Social Networking

Time Management

"How do you find the time for Linkedin, Google+, Twitter, Facebook etc." is a frequent question from people trying to develop business through business networking.


A common perception is that using social media is another thing to do in an already overcrowded schedule.


I believe that online networks and social media give us some great tools for keeping in touch and organising our networks and they do not have to add to your workload. I explain how I manage it in this video interview with Bob Barker.





Any questions please ask.


Good Networking!

Dave Clarke



Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 15:08:36, 28 Nov 12
Tags: Business Networking,Advocacy,Social Networking,Social Media
29530 Views 0 Comments

Build your network before you need it

address bookSometimes I meet people who have turned to business networking after something has happened and they need some new business or an answer to a business problem quickly. They often believe that it's just a matter of turning up at the right place with the right people and getting a quick fix. This is not the way it works. Like most things what you get relies on what you give in the first place.


Last week I needed some help at short notice. The speaker I had arranged for one of our NRG networking groups would not be back in the country in time! The topic of the talk was 'raising finance in these interesting times. I was able, through my network, to arrange an alternative speaker. Then on the morning of the talk, which was due to take place at lunchtime, my replacement was ill and unable to do it.


Warren CassWithin 3 phone calls I had a volunteer to stand in. I would not have been able to do this without having first built my network and investing in the relationships with people in it. Thanks to Warren Cass of Business Scene who stepped forward and delivered a great talk on the subject. that was perfect for everyone attending. He was able to use his own experience of raising finance in a number of innovative ways to tell a story


Make sure you invest in the relationships that are important to you and your business so that when you need something you are able to receive it through your network.


Good Networking!

Dave Clarke


Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 14:06:55, 19 Nov 12
Tags: Advocacy,relationships,Business Networking
25593 Views 0 Comments

How To Win More Business Through Networking

8 blog series on how to win more business through networking

Reasons for networkingThe first question on the feedback form for visitors to our Networking Groups is, what is your primary reason for networking? The number one answer is 'More Business' and yet many people have no plan for winning more business through their networking. Over the last few months I have written a series of 8 blogs on how to win more business through networking. If you follow the tips in them you should be able to develop a strategy to make networking work for you and your business.


Here are the direct links to the 8 blog in the series.


1. The NRG Networking Advocacy Model and Your Networking Goals

unlocking SecretThe secret to getting more business through networking is counter intuitive to many people. Read more in this blog to help you understand how networking really works and how the advocacy system can help you achieve your goals. 


2. Getting Crystal Clear About Your Target Market

Target Market

The second step to getting more business through networking is to get crystal clear about your target market. This will help you to identify the right people for you to be building your network with.


3. Getting comfortable with the 'What do You Do' Question

The Answer

The third step to getting more business through networking is to get clear about your proposition. This is essential so that you leave people with a clear idea of what you really do so they can spot opportunities for you.


4. Identifying The Right People And Where To Meet Them

Dunbar Network

The next steps in getting more business through networking are to identify the right people for your inner network and where to meet them. You also need to consider how many relationships you can manage.


5. Building And Maintaining Business Relationships

Building RelationshipsA business relationship is a series of interactions over time like any other one. Building and maintaining these relationships is at the heart of getting more business through networking.


6. The importance of sharing why you do what you do in building advocacy

Know Like Rate TrustUnless the people in your business network are motivated and know how to to help you then you are never going to make business networking productive. Sharing why you do what you so is vital in this.


7. Motivating your advocates

Missing piece in networking jigsawThe really successful people in business networking are proactive in finding opportunities to advocate those in their own network and do the things that really motivate others to do things for them.


8. Building a reliable pipeline of business through your advocates

predictionThrough building advocacy with your network you can build a reliable and predictable level of business through referral into your forecasts and projections.


I hope you find these a valuable resource.


NRG networking events are structured so that you get to put this system into practice. Please share the NRG networking event calendar with anyone who may be interested.


Good Networking!

Dave Clarke


Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 12:54:51, 09 Nov 12
Tags: Winning Business,Business Networking,Advocacy,Networking System
44035 Views 0 Comments

How To Win More Business Through Networking Part 8

Building a reliable pipeline of business through your advocates


predictionIn this final blog about getting more business through networking I share ideas about building a reliable pipeline. As I highlighted in the penultimate blog in this series one of the big lessons to learn in business networking is that you need to be regularly giving to others the things you want to receive yourself. This means that if you want more referrals then you should give more referals. The simplest way to get into the referral habit is to ask everyone you do business about any other issues or problems they need help with and referring the best person you know that is able to help.


By now you should have realised that you cannot expect that if you give someone a referral then they will reciprocate by giving you a referral. However, if you get into that referral habit and encouraging others within your network to do the same you should get your fair share. If you are not then you need to find out why by asking people within your network.


You can take this a step further so that you can build a reliable and predictable level of business through referral into your forecasts and projections. There comes a point in some of your relationships when both parties would advocate each other unreservedly. This will lead to some referral activity, but there will be many opportunities that you both miss.


A good idea with advocates like these is to put referrals on the agenda for your regular 121 meetings. I wrote a blog about this a while back - How many people does it take for a good networking meeting?. I meet a small number of people for regular 121s where most of the meeting is spent in going through the issues faced in business by people in our respective networks and agreeing to introduce each other where appropriate. It's amazing how many opportunities we uncover in these sessions that we would miss otherwise. Each month we review where we are and agree how many new intoroductions and referrals to make. It really does lead to the situation where you can predict the level of business you will generate through your advocates.


Let me know how you get on.


For links to all 8 blogs in the series go to How To Win More Business Through Networking.


Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke


Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 16:43:41, 08 Nov 12
Tags: Referrals,networking,Advocacy,Networking System,relationships,quality,121 meetings,Networking Relationships
35368 Views 0 Comments

The Internet Has Always Been Social

History of Social MediaSocial networking is nothing new and social media, in my opinion, is the technology catching up with the way we operate in real life networks. I like this infographic from copyblogger about the history of the Internet showing how we have used it for connecting and communicating. It has given us great tools to be really effective at sharing stuff and keeping in touch with people between the times we meet. The inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners Lee, said in 2004 "The web is more a social creation than a technical one. I designed it for a social effect—to help people work together—and not as a technical toy. The ultimate goal of the Web is to support and improve our weblike existence in the world. We clump into families, associations, and companies. We develop trust across the miles and distrust around the corner."


A History of Social Media [Infographic] - Infographic
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.


Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke


Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 12:05:13, 05 Nov 12
Tags: Social Media,Linkedin,Social Networking,Business Networking
29273 Views 0 Comments

How To Win More Business Through Networking Part 7

Motivating your advocates


The final piece of the business networking jigsawIf you have been following this blog series you should by now have identified the important people within your business network. If you asked them how likely they would be to recommend you on a scale of 1 to 10 they would be the ones who answer 9 or 10.


Many people get to this point and then think the opportunities will arrive without much effort and this can be true up to a point. Others think that they can now guarantee results by focusing entirely on their own needs from their network. The really successful people in business networking, however, understand what really works. The best way of motivating their advocates is to do things for them and they are proactive in finding opportunities for these people.


It is no good,though, wasting a lot of time and energy by looking for things they do not really want or value. The best way of finding out what your advocates want is to ask them. Find out the types of business they are really looking for. Many people will place the highest value on unqualified referrals so you really need a good understanding of their ideal clients.


There will be other things they value too. Invest time and effort understanding what makes them tick and what is important to them. Agree how best to keep in contact and have regular 121 meetings. Always make sure to be clear about what you want too for when you get asked.


Here is a list of some of the things you can do for others in addition to finding those referral opportunities.


1. Give a testimonial

2. Send relevant feedback, information and articles

3. Invite to events

4. Provide a website link promoting their services

5. Promote their blogs and other content via Social Media

6. Connect to them online

8. Support and comment on their online content and discussions.

9. Endorse their skills on Linkedin

10. Connect them to others like them in your network

11. Promote them to your network (eg via newsletter)

12. Support them with a skill you have, but they do not

13. Sponsor their events (and vice versa)

14. Actively collaborate with them

15. Joint venture


This is not an exhaustive list, but you get the gist. You could also take a leading role in the networking group you both belong to. That way you are adding value to them and they regularly see you in action – and doing a good job!


That brings us almost to the conclusion of this blog series. There is one other step you can take with the right people to take your networking to a level where you can start to reliably predict your returns. That will be the final blog of the series. Until then ...


For links to all 8 blogs in the series go to How To Win More Business Through Networking.


Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke


Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 17:09:45, 30 Oct 12
Tags: networking,Advocacy,Networking System,relationships,quality,121 meetings,Networking Relationships
34700 Views 0 Comments

How To Win More Business Through Networking Part 6

The importance of sharing why you do what you do in building advocacy

Know, like, trust, rateUnless the people in your business network are motivated and know how to help you then you are never going to make business networking productive. In this blog and the next one in the series I aim to give you an understanding of how you go about that final step of finding your advocates from within your business network. You may well have read and heard people say that people refer business to people they know, like and trust. The previous blogs in this series were about how you get to the stage where you are known for what you do and the types of business you do that with. These are things that demonstrate how others can help you. The series has also covered how you go about identifying the right people for your network then building and maintaining relationships with those people. At the early stages of a business relationships you will have decided whether you like each other. In my experience it is unlikely you will get very far unless you like each other.


If you have gone about business networking by building relationships the with the right sort of people then there are probably a number who know, like and trust you in your network. Chances are, however, you could still do with more business. In Networking and The Psychology of Persuasion I wrote about how a basic understanding of influence is useful when building advocacy through your business network.


One of the six keys to influence is liking and it works on a couple of levels. It is true that people prefer to do business with people they like, but people are also attracted to and influenced by people like them. This adds an emotional aspect and there is more to it than simply being known, liked and trusted. People regularly refer business to people they know, like, rate and trust and who are like them.


To be really successful in your networking you need to develop a group of advocates from the people that you build business relationships with. Your advocates are those people who will go out of their way to help and view you as being like them. The thing that identifies that for them is not what you do it is WHY you do it. The simplest way of communicating this with people is by sharing the story of why you are doing what you do. Within NRG I share the story of how I got started with running a network.


At the turn of the millenium I had previously run an Internet Service Provider Business that had become part of a Finnish Group along with four other UK Internet and Telecommunications businesses. I became the Managing Director for the UK Group. Early in the noughties the Parent Company retrenched to Finland as the Industry was facing tough times after the dot com crash. I negotiated the sale of the UK subsidiaries to various parties and joined a small management consultancy as the partner leading internet, e-commerce and telecommunication projects for their client base and my own.


My wife and I took the opportunity to move the family from London to Wiltshire to provide the environment we wanted for the children to grow into young adults. Most of my clients were in London or other parts of Europe so I decided to try and meet business people locally. I found it very difficult to do that. The chamber or similar 'networking' events I attended were very hit and miss. I also found other groups that were only open to one person from a particular trade or profession. At the time I found that an odd idea as I was used to cooperating with competitors and others in complementary businesses. I knew that it would be amongst people doing similar things for similar businesses that I would find people like me.


Then in February 2004 I joined the new online network, Linkedin, and started referring business and getting business referred to me through the people I knew. It was still away from home though and when I told a friend he recommended a UK based network called Ecademy which he said had offline meetings too. When I found there was no regular meeting near me I started my own. That proved a great way of making connections locally and it was through those meetings that I met Martin Davies and Kim Sharman who were equally frustrated with local networking. They had decided to launch NRG for people like me! I volunteered to help with organising certain aspects of the meetings and became CEO. Our aim was to create the network that we couldn't find, an environment where providers of professional and business services could connect and build the right relationships for mutual business development and support. We are still evolving and refining, but that is at the core of everything we have done and continue to do.


Once you have developed your story around why you do what you do and start sharing it then you give people like you that emotional connection which is an essential component in finding your advocates. There are then a number of things you need to do to build on this with these people and those will be the subject of the next blog in this series.


For links to all 8 blogs in the series go to How To Win More Business Through Networking.


Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke


Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 17:14:01, 29 Oct 12
Tags: Networking Relationships,121 meetings,quality,relationships,Networking System,Advocacy,networking
36809 Views 0 Comments

Offline networking still more valuable than online

face to face networkingAccording to new research from moo.com traditional networking face to face is still valuable in an increasingly digital world. Dealing with contacts in person, rather than via email or social networking, nets UK small businesses a projected GBP 9.45 bn a year. In other words the real action is offline!


The research reveals that the owners of these small businesses also use social networking on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn to stay in touch with a wider audience. They use these tools and others, like Twitter, to maintain a business presence online. However, when it come to marketing then advocacy through word of mouth recommendations and referrals are the most important part of the mix.


Richard Moross Founder & CEO of MOO who commissioned the research, said: “Physical contact works better because it can often reveal more about the person they are dealing with than anything revealed on social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Social media and other technology is incredibly helpful for keeping in touch, building relationships and just reminding people you are around and what you are up to. But if you want to win business and develop new contacts then nothing quite beats a face-to-face meeting it seems. Judging by the number of business owners who do business over a drink, at a social function or even on the daily commute, the informal atmosphere seems to encourage better networking."


The survey confirms that online works well in supporting your offline neworking as I wrote in a previous blog on successfully combining offline and online networking. You can read more about the moo.com research in this press release.


The message is clear if you want to make sure you are get enough people recommending and advocating your business. Invest enough time in meeting the right people face to face.


Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke


Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 16:33:39, 25 Oct 12
Tags: Business Networking,Social Networking,face to face networking,Offline Networking,Online Networking
27598 Views 0 Comments

How To Win More Business Through Networking Part 5

Building And Maintaining Business Relationships

Advocacy RelationshipsIn the 5th of this series on getting more business through networking I will be writing about business relationships. A business relationship is a series of interactions over time like any other one. You can either wait for others to lead those interactions or you can take the lead yourself by being proactive with your follow up. The people who get the most from their networking are the proactive ones. The ones who make the phone calls, send cards, organise 1-2-1 meetings and regularly use the communication tools that the internet has brought. To be proactive and productive you will probably need some sort of system to keep your contacts up to date with a record of your interactions.


The internet has given us the tools to be really effective at keeping in touch with people between the times we meet. In particular with Email, Social Media and Online Networks. This is increasingly available to us when we are out and about and not just when we are at our desks.

Business Relationships

Most people in Business and Professional Services have a Linkedin Profile. A simple way of following up with someone when you have met for the first time is to agree to connect on Linkedin. The act of following that up and making the connection request is a simple demonstration of doing something you agreed to do. This is an important step in building a trusted relationship. You can also follow or friend on other platforms where appropriate. 


An important place to build relationships is in the networking groups you join with others that share the markets you operate in. Your aim in groups like this is to get to the stage with some people where you can advocate them and they can advocate you. At some stage it will be important to start meeting 1-2-1 so you can really get to know someone and what makes them tick. 1-2-1 meetings are the real engine of productive business networking relationships. There is a danger, however, that they can become general chats with no business context or be completely dominated by one person. To avoid this you need to be clear about your aims for the meeting itself and what happens next. It is also important to communicate that clearly to the other person.You can do this by way of a simple agreed agenda. I use this mindmap to remind me at the start of the meeting to make sure we agree certain basics.

121 Meeting Agenda

This mindmap reminds me to agree at least the following.

1. The overall purpose of the meeting,

2. The timing of the meeting,

3. Whether there are any interuptions anticipated,

4. Part of the meeting is for me to find out about you and your business and part is for you to find out about me and mine.

5. Once we have learned about each other can we see ourselves developing a mutually beneficial advocate relationship,

6. If we are not going to develop further it is ok to agree now,

7. If we are going to develop further then agree next steps.


Agreeing the next step ensures that the relationship is ongoing and part of a series of interactions over time that will benefit both parties. In the next part of this blog series I will cover how you nurture these business relationships and turn them into real profit for each other.


For links to all 8 blogs in the series go to How To Win More Business Through Networking.


Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke


Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 20:35:17, 15 Oct 12
Tags: networking,Advocacy,Networking System,relationships,quality,121 meetings,Networking Relationships
32105 Views 0 Comments


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