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Business Networking Blog

How long does it take to get value from networking?
In a previous blog about follow up I mentioned that I had been interviewed. Three videos from that interview are now online at the record of the event created by Andrew Wilcox and his Cabre Team.

In this video I was asked about creating a network of value and how long it takes;


Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 10:55:00, 30 Jun 07
Tags: How Networking Works,NRG
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What first impression do you create?
I attended a seminar last week delivered by personal branding and image expert, Tessa Hood, of Changing Gear. If you create a bad first impression you may never get the chance to put it right so when you go networking dress and conduct yourself in a manner that is consistent with the service you provide. We're sometimes asked by people how they should dress for our events. We ask how they would dress if they were meeting a potential new client for the first time.

She asked if our perceptions about our personal brands matched other peoples. If you're not sure then get some feedback from your trusted contacts.

I found a great quote from Tom Peters on the subject. He said;

"Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You."

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 23:37:00, 26 Jun 07
Tags: NRG,Managing reputation
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Follow up
I attended the launch of Business Scene at Twickenham tonight and was interviewed about my support. It's a great example of bringing different networks together. Networking is a key business development activity and networks set a great example by collaborating with and supporting each other.

Before the interview I was asked if there was one question I would like asked. I said to ask "What's the most important thing to do after the event?".

My answer was to make the time to follow up. If you regularly follow up you will be different to most of the people that regularly spend time networking. Make sure you invest your time and meet up with the people you really connect with and start building a mutually beneficial business relationship.

That is unless you only go networking to meet people once or because you collect business cards!

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 23:21:00, 26 Jun 07
Tags: Networking Connections,NRG,Networking Follow Up
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Word of mouth marketing strategy
I met someone last night with a translation business. During the conversation I asked, "How do you get your business?"

She replied "we get 50% from the internet." I asked about strategy and she explained in some detail and said that they used professional help.

I asked about the other half and she said it was word of mouth. I asked about the strategy for that and she didn't have one, so half of their new business was 'accidental'.

What's your word of mouth strategy?

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 12:37:00, 22 Jun 07
Tags: NRG,Networking Objectives
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Make your communications curt
At a seminar on Friday strategic communications expert Peter Brill of Net-mentor.com advised us to be CURT in our communications for them to be effective. You'll be glad to know he wasn't advising us to be rude!

Curt is for Clarity, Understanding, Relevant and Timely. Next time you have to present at a networking event ask yourself some questions;

Do I have a clear message?
Am I communicating in a way that the audience will understand?
How relevant is what I am saying to the audience?
Are there any external factors I can use to make my delivery more timely?

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 20:39:00, 19 Jun 07
Tags: NRG,Networking Introductions
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The power of third party endorsements
I was at a networking lunch today where, as part of the format, we introduce ourselves and our businesses to the others around the table. Before it got to my turn one of the other attendee's said totally unprompted, "I don't want to tell you about my business. I want to share how my business has been helped by Dave's."

The message delivered was much more powerful and had a much greater impact than anything I could have said. What a great example of networking advocacy.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 17:41:00, 15 Jun 07
Tags: Networking for Advocates,NRG
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Finding connectors
I was speaking with someone today that I had recently connected with on Facebook, an online social networking site. She said that since we connected lots of other people that she knew had found her & got in touch. Social networking sites are great for connecting and then building your visibility and reputation, an essential part of networking. They are also a great way of finding the connectors in your area. Those people with a large network that can connect you quickly to someone.

I regularly use, enjoy and recommend social networking sites like Facebook, Ecademy, Linkedin and Xing.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 18:16:00, 12 Jun 07
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Networking Connections,NRG
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Networking groups save time
I network for advocates, those people that will recommend me unreservedly. I find that building trusted relationships and becoming an advocate for others first is the best way of doing this. I look for networking groups where the members have a similar outlook.

A couple of months ago I had the opportunity of hosting a meeting for a group I belong to. I decided to give people an exercise in becoming an advocate quickly. Before that I shared some numbers about my experiences in building relationships within the group;
  • Total group members 320
  • Members I had met 179
  • 121s with members 129
  • Furthering relationship 84
  • People I advocate 26
Someone then asked how many advocates I had in the room. It was more than 26!

I have subsequently calculated that to achieve this result without belonging to the group I would have had to have attended at least 12 times as many 'open' networking meetings. That would almost certainly have taken me an extra 3 years.

If you're not sure about joining a group then maybe you need to do some sums of your own.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 19:39:00, 07 Jun 07
Tags: How Networking Works,Networking for Advocates,NRG
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The value of peer support
If you run your own business you often come across challenges that are difficult to see a way through. One of the added benefits of building trusted relationships within a network of people with similar challenges is being able to share your issues. To have a sounding board for ideas and problems.

We facilitate some small meetings (NRG Xtra) where a small number of peers share their issues. They then question & challenge each other, and offer the benefits of their experience and insight. Most people get an answer to their problem during a focused 15 to 20 minute session on their issue. There are very few things that a group of 5 to 8 business owners have not had experience of at what time or another.

Sharing these issues and really listening to each other is also a great way of building relationships. Are you tapping into the experience and wisdom in your network?

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 6:51:00, 07 Jun 07
Tags: Business Networking,NRG,Networking Relationships
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Getting business quickly
I met with a couple of people in my network today, people I advocate. I've known them for a few years and they have both invested their time in building trust in their relationships. They are embarking on a joint venture alongside their existing commitments. One of them won a pitch this week with another long term contact. They are reaping the rewards of building networks.

I also spoke to someone today at the start of his independent consultancy business. He is long enough into it to have discovered that his ex Corporate colleagues and contacts are not his network at all. They are part of his old Corporate network. It surprised him that they weren't there for him, as it surprises a lot of people. He recognises that he needs to build the sort of trusted relationships that I refer to in the 1st paragraph above. He also has the financial imperative to find some clients quickly.

It's absolutely essential for him to get clarity on 3 things quickly;
  • His target market
  • The problem he solves for them
  • The positive outcome of his intervention
Then he needs to identify some targets. Companies & names of people in them and the problems he can solve for them. The network can help him if he helps them.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 22:01:00, 31 May 07
Tags: How Networking Works,NRG,Networking Relationships
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