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Business Networking Blog

Who else sells to your target market?
I had a couple of conversations this week where I raised this question.

In the first the person trained people interested in starting their own beauty therapy or related business. There are many college courses helping Women start in business developing links with those may be a good start.

In the second the person had a busines that halved the cost of fixed to mobile telephone calls. When I asked who else sold to his market he said everyone. I asked if it might be a good idea to focus particularly on developing relationships with others that sold complementary telecoms related products and services to his target market.

Who else sells to your target customers?

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Get 7 networking secrets for business success
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 11:09:00, 13 Oct 07
Tags: Business Networking,Networking Connections
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Do you have a clear proposition?
Do you ever struggle to understand someone else's proposition. It may well be someone you like and trust, and would love to help.

At a seminar today presented by NRG members, Tim Cumming and Anna Thomas they shared a very simple way of developing your message. It's not designed to be the message you give, but to help you develop the appropriate ones.

You just fill in the blanks:

We help [1.] to [2.] by providing [3.] which are more [4.] than most.

1 = audience
2 = outcome
3 = benefit
4 = differentiation

For example "We help business owners to build a steady pipeline of new business by providing facilitated business networking experiences which are more effective than most"

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Get 7 networking secrets for business success
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 18:14:00, 21 Sep 07
Tags: NRG,Networking Introductions
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Social Networking in Plain English
I found this great video via Thomas Power's Ecademy Profile:



The video is by Lee LeFever of Commoncraft.com.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Get 7 networking secrets for business success
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:01:00, 14 Sep 07
Tags: How Networking Works
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Your advocates help build your reputation
I received a message from a contact today.
He had received a response to an email;

"I would be delighted to take up your offer of a meeting. Someone I met last night was singing your praises and that has spurred me into action!"

Who is talking positively about you when you are not there?

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Get 7 networking secrets for business success
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 16:48:00, 07 Sep 07
Tags: Business Networking,Networking for Advocates,NRG
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Do you network to find advocates or customers?
During the seminar before an NRG Business Networking Lunch today we were discussing different approaches to networking. I explained that networking to build trusted relationships and develop advocates was far more productive than networking for customers.

One member shared his experience to support that view. When he first started networking he was looking for customers directly. He had some limited success. When he changed his approach to helping others and building relationships first his results increased dramatically.

He also won more customers from his networking contacts!

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Get 7 networking secrets for business success
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 18:49:00, 14 Aug 07
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Networking Relationships,Networking Objectives
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Crash course in networking
I received a telephone call just before one of our lunches from a journalist. He was writing a piece for Management Today about networking and wanted to pick my brains.

What are the key things about networking, he asked. Decide what you want to get out of it (be strategic), I said. Also, don't expect results immediately - it's all about developing relationships and that takes time.

His article is in the August edition of Management Today and is called Crash course in networking.

Martin Davies
NRG Business Networks
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 11:07:00, 11 Aug 07
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,crash course in networking
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Where building relationships can lead
At NRG we recently surveyed our members to find out what our members got out of the NRG relationship. I was (pleasantly) surprised to find that over half our members were actively collaborating with other members.

Then one of our more mature and wordly-wise members sat me down and explained things to me.

"You make a big thing about developing relationships don't you" he said.

"Absolutely, it is fundamental to successful networking" I said.

"Well, think about it - if your members do spend time getting to know other members in depth surely you shouldn't be surprise when a lot of them want to work together, share projects, jointly go to market - in other words, collaborate!"

Silly me - why didn't I think that through!

Martin Davies
NRG Business Networks
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 9:17:00, 09 Aug 07
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Networking Connections,Networking for Advocates,NRG,Networking Relationships,Networking Follow Up,Managing reputation
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If only I could get in front of the right person
I often hear business owners say 'if only I can get in front of more people'. When I ask who those people are they can't name them.

Recently I have heard NRG Business Networks members ask for specific connections in named companies. In one instance someone knew the boss of the Finance Director the member wanted an introduction to. In another someone had been at school with the Marketing Director.

Do a bit of research on people in your target market in advance. Help your network to help you get in front of the 'right people'.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Get 7 networking secrets for business success
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 17:51:00, 31 Jul 07
Tags: How Networking Works,NRG,Networking Introductions
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Try getting someone else to do your one minute pitch
At a business networking event on Monday I was one of the 10 doing a 1 minute pitch to the group. Instead of doing it myself I asked a long standing NRG Business Networks member if he would do it for me. He agreed and instead of me saying how good it was he was able to focus on the benefit from a client perspective.

He concentrated on why he was happy to give the one minute, why he was a member and what he gave and received as a result. Everyone I spoke to afterwards commented on what a powerful endorsement it was.

Next time you have the opportunity why not give the approach a go?

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Get 7 networking secrets for business success
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 6:48:00, 25 Jul 07
Tags: Business Networking,NRG,Networking Introductions
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How not to win friends and influence people
I was at a Chamber of Commerce event last night. It was a good opportunity to catch up with some contacts and meet some new people. I started talking to one person who perhaps should have slowed down on the free wine.

A lady approached us and introduced herself. I recognised that she would be a great possible ally for the other person, but when he came to introduce himself he couldn't pronounce his company name! She was clearly unimpressed.

If you've taken the time and trouble to attend an event that is primarily business focused it may be best to wait until afterwards to unwind :-)

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Get 7 networking secrets for business success
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 22:07:00, 19 Jul 07
Tags: Business Networking,Networking Introductions,Managing reputation
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