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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

Lowering the risk and increasing the speed of business development
I had a great meeting last week with someone interested in a franchise territory for the NRG-networks Business. We progressed much further and faster than normal during that meeting. The reason? We were introduced by someone we had both known for years. Someone who was a trusted contact & an advocate for both of us.

He went out of his way to make sure we spoke and arranged the meeting. A great example of how business can develop much faster when you have built close trusted relationships first.

How much time are you taking to develop relationships with a few close contacts? Contacts that operate in the same target market as you and provide services that are complementary to yours. Building the trust that lowers risk, reduces cost and increases the speed at which you can transact business when the opportunity arises.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 7:45:00, 21 May 08
Tags: Networking for Advocates,Trust,NRG,Networking Relationships
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What is your target market?
We have an aide memoire at NRG events to help people focus on the key messages that will help others to advocate them in the right situations.

The first point after Name & Company Name is "Our typical client is". If you have a specific niche this is easy. Many businesses have more than one type of client and find this difficult. They will often say something like:

"We do not have a typical client. We deal with individuals, small, medium, & large companies. Everyone or Anyone can use our service." This tells the audience absolutely nothing and they switch off.

The most effective thing is to pick the client type most relevant to the people you are with. If you are with other owners of other service businesses think about who their clients are likely to be. Talk about your typical clients in that market.

If I am with business people who have small businesses as their clients I have a specific message. NRG Business Networking Group membership is the message I want them to advocate. I say my typical client is the owner manager of a business to business professional services firm with at least a couple of employees and where that owner is the person responsible for winning new business.

In a different group I might say something different. If the clients of the people I am with are medium sized professional firms I will focus on the service we provide for regional law firms and name an example. In another group my focus will be on entrepreneurs who have been successful in growing to £1 million in revenues and who now want to take their business to the next stage.

Remember the people you are networking with are your route to market and not your market. Once you have defined your target market you can then talk about the concerns, issues & problems they have. The things that you fix!

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 7:33:00, 14 May 08
Tags: How Networking Works,NRG
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Grow people
In my last post I mentioned an event that Andy Lopata and I spoke at.

Andy finished with a great quote from an old proverb;

If you want to be prosperous for a year, grow grain.

If you want to be prosperous for ten years, grow trees.

If you want to be prosperous for a lifetime, grow people.

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

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 12:38:00, 13 May 08
Tags: How Networking Works
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How many people does it take for a good networking meeting?

I attended a networking showcase event recently where a number of us introduced our own business networking organisations. Andy Lopata also spoke and mentioned a great networking event that he attends every month where there are just 2 attendees, Andy and I. We are at the stage where we advocate each other and every month we progress our business relationship further. Our 121 meeting is very productive in generating referrals. Andy mentioned one instance where my referral led him to business in an organisation he had been targetting for 4 years.

Next time you find yourself asking 'how many people will be at the event?' maybe think about another question.

'Will the people there be ones that I can build productive business relationships with?'

Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke

           

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 12:25:00, 13 May 08
Tags: NRG,Networking for Advocates,How Networking Works,Business Networking
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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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