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Business Networking Blog

Why offline business networking is vital for web marketing
Research quoted in a previous post, Word of Mouth: The real action is offline discussed how most business is driven by word of mouth.

The same is true about most websites. Most visitors find you because someone else told them about you. More vistors find you as a result of word of mouth than from the search engines! For small businesses finding the right networking groups and attending regularly are a vital part of your word of mouth marketing.

You can watch Internet Psychologist, Graham Jones, talking about the importance of networking to him below:


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 6:51:00, 02 May 08
Tags: Social Networking,Business Networking,Word of Mouth,NRG
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How long does it take to get results from networking?
I was talking to a member of NRG in London on Friday. He has received business this month worth £22000 through his NRG network. He has been a member for a couple of years and typically people take a while to generate results. He also shared that he had received business through a contact at his first ever NRG meeting and regularly since then.

So what has he been doing to get results where others struggle?

He has a strategy for his networking.
He always takes time to listen and find a point of connection with someone new.
He attends his own group regularly and visits other groups too.
He is very clear about what he does, who he does it for and the problems he fixes.
He always follows up.
He spends a lot of time with his existing network.
He regularly advocates and introduces others.

Networking can take a long time. However if you plan and follow a system you can ensure that your networking activity produces predictable, reliable and profitable results.

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 10:38:00, 29 Apr 08
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,NRG
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What are people really hearing?
You can often find that people hear something altogether different from the message you think you are conveying.

I was at a Business Networking Event recently when someone gave a very convincing pitch. He then said something I disagreed with so I said that. He responded with;

"You have misunderstood me. It is an irrefutable fact that..."

I probably had misunderstood him, and so I apologised. My lasting impression is not the pitch, however, it is the impression of being told I was wrong and he was right. Not an ideal way to start a relationship.

I remember hearing from someone who said that the meaning of our communication is the response we get. If you are not getting the right response then maybe get some of your trusted contacts to give you some good honest feedback. You can then adjust, or not, accordingly.

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 9:09:00, 25 Apr 08
Tags: Business Networking,NRG,Networking Relationships,Managing reputation
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What do you really do?
Recently I attended a Seminar before an NRG Business Development Network Lunch. The Seminar was on "How to get free publicity on TV, on radio and in Print" and was presented by Chantal Cooke of passionfortheplanet.com. Chantal used her expertise in journalism to identify the PR angle for all the business people present.

With some people it was not immediately clear to Chantal (or anyone else) what their proposition was. It took all of her expertise to extract from them what they really did and who for.

How often do you get the luxury of finding out if your message is clearly understood?
Maybe you can find someone to interview you before you next go networking.

Some questions you might want to think about:

What do you do?..................................

Which means what?................................

Which means what exactly?........................

Where do you do this?............................

Who do you do this for?..........................

Who do you do this for specifically..............

Why should anyone choose you?....................

What examples do you have?.......................

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 17:59:00, 22 Apr 08
Tags: Business Networking,NRG,Networking Introductions
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Get a Frog Kissing Radar Device
I just read a great article entitled 'Get a Frog Kissing Radar Device' from Sarah Owen of the Referral Institute in the UK.

I have written about the importance of follow up in this blog before. In Sarah's article she suggests it would be great to have a device that told us who to follow up with. In the absence of such a device she suggests some indicators to watch out for when you meet someone networking. Read the full article in the networking articles section of the NRG networks website.

I find myself asking some fairly simple questions when I meet someone.
What do you do?
Who are your typical clients?
What problem do you solve for them?
Any examples?
Who else sells to your market?
How did you get into this business?
What help are you looking for?
What contacts are you looking for?

The answers and how they answer help me to form an impression. It helps me to assess whether I like them, if there are points of contact and any interesting things to follow up.

How do you qualify a potential advocate?

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 9:20:00, 02 Apr 08
Tags: Business Networking,Networking Connections,Networking for Advocates,NRG,Networking Follow Up
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Behaviours that build trust
I read an excellent piece from Stephen M.R. Covey on 'The 13 Behaviours of a High Trust Leader'. The behaviours that he describes apply equally in networking.

He describes Character Behaviours, Competence Behaviours, and those that combine both Character and Competence.

Character:
1. Talk straight
2. Demonstrate Respect
3. Create Transparency
4. Right Wrongs
5. Show Loyalty
Competence
6. Deliver Results
7. Get better
8. Confront Reality
9. Clarify Expectations
10. Practice Accountability
Character and Competence
11. Listen First
12. Keep Commitments
13. Extend Trust

You can download the paper here >>>.

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 8:41:00, 27 Mar 08
Tags: Business Networking,Trust,Managing reputation
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Getting your network to sell for you
I was interviewed a couple of month's ago for Richard White's Accidental Salesman Club.

The theme of the interview was "Getting your network to sell for you".
Richard wrote, "Everyone in selling knows that receiving qualified and personal referrals from a trusted contact makes selling so much easier. But what does it take for your network of contacts to be prepared to make those connections for you?" In the interview I explained the effort and activities required in order to get people to recommend your products and services to their best contacts.

You can listen to and download the interview at http://www.theaccidentalsalesman.com/daveclarkev4.mp3

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Get 7 networking secrets for business success
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 17:01:00, 06 Mar 08
Tags: How Networking Works,Networking for Advocates,NRG
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Giving referrals first when building your network
In some previous posts I have referred to some research that we did into building trust in business networking relationships. A key factor in building trust is to give something of value to another. Giving a referral first is a good example of this.

I was talking to the Director of a Branding Agency last week. Their target market are the Chief Executives and Managing Directors of Medium and large sized Enterprises. He had just had a 121 meeting with a Business Coach. During the meeting the Coach had referred him to the CEO of one of his large clients.

I know that the coach in question makes a point of giving referrals first and then on a regular ongoing basis. In this way in the past few years he has established a great network of Professionals and Business Owners that now regularly refer and advocate him.

Does your networking strategy include actively looking for opportunities for your network & giving referrals first. Then meeting your close network on a regular basis to share the opportunities you find for them?

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Get 7 networking secrets for business success
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 19:02:00, 05 Mar 08
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Networking for Advocates,NRG
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Sharing your expertise with your Network
I've mentioned the Networking Catch 22 before. How do you demonstrate your expertise & give value to someone who will not be your customer?

At the Reading NRG Event last week Hanif Khan of Video Shoot Productions shot a number of videos for people to use. He showcased what he does, gave us some value and has built real trust trust in him and his service.

He even posted the video he did for me on Youtube!



Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Get 7 networking secrets for business success
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 17:26:00, 22 Feb 08
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,NRG
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Remember to say thank you
I received an email from a close networking contact today.

At one of our meetings a couple of months ago we had recognised a referral opportunity for him. I made the initial introduction and that has led to a great opportunity.

Do you always thank your referrers and introducers and keep them informed?

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Get 7 networking secrets for business success
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 18:49:00, 14 Feb 08
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,NRG,Networking Relationships,Networking Follow Up
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