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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

Networking is not....
Networking is not attending an event & interrupting as many people as you can & thrusting your business card at them!

I was at a large networking event a couple of weeks ago. I was in conversation with someone I had just met. Another person came up said, "Here's my card. If you ever want this give me a call", then he moved on to the next group.

What do you think happened to all the cards he gave out?

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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business networking | business networking events | virtual board

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 9:00:00, 22 Jul 08
Tags: How Networking Works
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Networking: I tried that once!
In a few conversations people have said to me, "Networking. I tried that, but it didn't work"

On the last occasion I asked what the person meant. He said "I spent a few months attending lots of events, but no one gave me any business"

I asked a few questions back including;

"Did you refer any business to anyone else?"
"Did you have any follow up conversations?"
"Did you have any 121 meetings?"

The answer was 'no' to each one.

It's a common misconception that networking is just about meeting people at events and somehow business happens. It isn't like that, it's about building relationships. As Andy Lopata commented on my earlier post 'What is Networking' it is about collaboration, mutual support and teamwork.

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

business networking | business networking events | virtual board

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:17:00, 16 Jul 08
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Networking Relationships
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What can you do for the group?
Often people will try and assess a Networking Group on what it will give them.

One way of deciding whether to join a Group is to ask yourself whether you can see yourself helping the other members. In the course of your business do you come across referral opportunities that would benefit the other members? If the answer is yes then they are likely to be able to do the same for you.

If you start sharing these then other members will be motivated to help you.

There is a great quote from Napoleon Hill on the subject.

"It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed."

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

business networking | business networking events | virtual board

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 9:52:00, 15 Jul 08
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works
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What is networking?
When I present seminars & workshops on business networking I often ask if anyone has a definition for networking.

One interesting one was from an attendee at a Seminar in Swindon.

"Networking is about making friends you can do Business with"

Do you have your own definition?

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

business networking | business networking events | virtual board

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 10:40:00, 11 Jul 08
Tags: Business Networking
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Do you have a specific niche?
I first spoke to the owner of law firm X a couple of years ago. Their message then was about certain specialist legal services to small and medium sized businesses.

More recently someone from the firm spoke about their specialism in helping a particular group of foreign nationals in the UK with these specialist services.

When you narrow down your offering to a particular market segment it makes your marketing & networking much easier.

You have a much clearer understanding of their problems & concerns.
You know who they are and therefore who to aim your messages at.
You know who else supplies them and therefore who to network with.
You know who their customers are and so more people to network with.

The great thing is that you still get referred to people with similar needs, but not quite in the same niche.

So what is your niche?

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

business networking | business networking events | virtual board

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 7:24:00, 03 Jul 08
Tags: Business Networking
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Getting your message across
I was in a networking session last week where we each had some time to resolve an issue rather than have the usual introductions. One of the problems that a number of people raised was the difficulty in getting their message across to potential clients.

One of the others suggested a great question:

"How do your potential clients recognise themselves"

It immediately got people thinking from the perspective of a client and the issues that they faced in the context of a particular service or offering. The message is then focussed in the right place. On the receiver & not the deliverer!

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

business networking | business networking events | virtual board

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 13:01:00, 02 Jul 08
Tags: Business Networking,Networking Introductions
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How often do you ask for a referral?
On Wednesday I had to cancel my attendance at an evening event.
Something had come up which meant that I had to be at home.

I spoke to the organiser to apologise. Whilst chatting he asked if I knew someone who may be able to attend instead. He mentioned a couple of names of people going & I immediately thought of someone who would be an excellent fit.

He then spoke about some of the others going & if I might know some good introductions for a couple of specific projects. Again a couple of people came straight to mind.

By the end of the conversation we had generated 6 referrals!

How often do you get the opportunity to discuss referrals with trusted contacts?

More importantly how often do you take that opportunity?

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

business networking | business networking events | virtual board

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 17:43:00, 27 Jun 08
Tags: Business Networking,Networking Relationships,Networking Introductions
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Networking is simple but not easy
I spotted that headline in a recent Ecademy Blog by Ivan Misner. It's a great headline and a worthwhile read.

It got me thinking too. Like many things networking is a simple process, but not easy to do. I am reminded of a quote from Bob Burg:

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

Business Networking is about finding other business people that operate in similar markets to you and building relationships to earn that trust. One thing that makes it easy is finding those networking groups where those people already are.

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

business networking | business networking events | virtual board

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 19:42:00, 25 Jun 08
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Networking Relationships
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Are you prospecting or networking?
At a speednetworking event recently I introduced myself to one of the other attendees. He had three different business cards for himself and gave one of those to me. I asked why that particular one & he said "That's the service most relevant for you to buy"

I asked about one of the other cards & he said "That's a service for Corporates so not for you"

Nothing wrong with representing different businesses in different networks. It may, however, be more effective in the long run to look for others with clients & contacts in similar markets to you. Then build relationships with them as an ongoing route to market rather than look for one off prospects.

At Networking Events are you looking for opportunities to build your network or for prospects?

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

business networking | business networking events | virtual board

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 6:56:00, 24 Jun 08
Tags: Business Networking,Networking for Advocates,Networking Relationships
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The power of unsolicited endorsements
I attended another organisation's networking lunch in London earlier this week. I had been invited by another NRG member & there were 2 NRG members on the round table. At the start of the lunch we took it in turns to introduce ourselves.

As I began one of the NRG members, the owner of an IT support business, interrupted me. He said, "Do you mind if I share something? We have just completed an analysis of our new business pipeline and over 80% is due to introductions and referrals through the NRG network"

The other member, a partner in a professional firm, added "We have just signed a new client as a result of the recommendation of another NRG member"

I had nothing to add to this great demonstration of the power of advocacy. My message had been shared much more powerfully than anything I could have said.

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

business networking | business networking events | virtual board

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 20 Jun 08
Tags: Business Networking,Networking for Advocates,NRG
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