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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

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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How are you Building Trust?
For someone to advocate you and your services they need to know, like and trust you. They need to trust that you will deliver. It can be difficult to build this trust with someone who is not your client. As part of building a relationship you may have to find some way of helping your network experience what you do. They might need to see, hear or get a sense of it for themselves.

One way of doing this is sharing your knowledge through blogs like this. Another is delivering seminars. The seminars before NRG lunches are delivered by members to give other members & guests the benefit of their expertise.

I was at a lunch on Friday when Colin Newlyn offered a free 30 minute telephone business coaching session to other members to demonstrate his services. What are you doing to share your expertise and give people that important personal experience of your service?

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 18:48:00, 29 May 07
Tags: How Networking Works,Networking for Advocates,NRG,Networking Relationships
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The importance of rapport
rapport n. A feeling of harmonious connection between people.

Have you ever left a business networking event feeling that you haven't really connected with anyone there? I prefer events where the structure allows me to develop some rapport with a few people. It's an important building block on the way to a mutually beneficial business relationship.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 22:29:00, 23 May 07
Tags: How Networking Works,NRG,Networking Relationships
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Synergy alert
Stuart Harris recently introduced me to one of his contacts with an email headed, synergy alert. What an excellent headline! He wrote (paraphrased):

"You two should meet each other. You're both great professionals and good men."

We have met and spoken for a good few hours, and a great business relationship is developing.

Who do you know that you could introduce to each other right now?

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 19:03:00, 18 May 07
Tags: NRG,Networking Introductions
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Networking really works fast
A couple of weeks ago London Sandler franchisee, Marcus Cauchi, had his regular Presidents Club venue cancelled at the last minute. A couple of calls and fellow NRG member, Rhidian Jones, had a new and better venue organised. Read more here >>>.

A great example of how investing in your network before you need help pays dividends.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 6:54:00, 18 May 07
Tags: How Networking Works,NRG,Networking Relationships
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Nurturing relationships
When you are tuned into the needs & wants of your network it's not just opportunities that are important to them. I saw a news item in the Times today that has an important bearing on one of the items a good contact utilises in seminars on 'commercialising your ideas'.

I sent him the story to avoid any potential embarassment. How often do you see something that could be of value to someone you know?

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 14:43:00, 16 May 07
Tags: NRG,Networking Relationships,Networking Follow Up
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Making notes of meetings
I went to a presentation some time ago when the presenter shared a method that he used for taking notes. I've combined his advice for using colours with mind mapping so that I can instantly look at my notes and see what actions I have agreed to take. I find this essential in that all important business networking follow up.

Sine then I make notes with mind maps using a four coloured pen with blue for data, red for action, green if something needs fixing & black if there is real drama present.


If I'm writing on someone's business card I generally use red & blue. It's easy then to identify the actions I have agreed.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 17:40:00, 10 May 07
Tags: Business Networking,Other,NRG,Networking Follow Up
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Educate, educate, educate
I attended an excellent marketing masterclass by Nigel Temple this evening. One of the points he made about differentiation was the importance of freely sharing useful information in your marketing. He said it was better to be seen as an expert than to just claim you are. His point is illustrated beautifully by the amount of free resources at his own website, nigeltemple.com.

It reminds me of a quote from an NRG member in some research into business networking that NRG conducted a couple of years ago:

"I do not do any cold calling - all my business comes from networking and referrals. Much of it is as a result of doing a presentation where I share my secrets so people know how to do what I do. Mostly, they prefer to ask me to do it for them, even though I've explained how they can do it for themselves! Networking is not about selling - it's about building relationships."

This demonstrates nicely how Nigel's good advice applies equally in the relationship building context in business networking.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 22:54:00, 09 May 07
Tags: How Networking Works,NRG,Networking Relationships,Managing reputation
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"How Can I help you?"
I was at the NRG Networking Lunch in London today and our table moderator posed the same question to each person, "How can we help?". The answers that stimulated the most activity were the ones from members who had been building their relationships in the network, and who were specific with their requests.

One person said he was interested in meeting printing companies interested in joint venturing. Two introductions were offered immediately.

Another person was interested in bespoke software developers with Property clients and received three immediate introductions.

Assuming you have those good relationships in place do you know how to ask specifically for what you want?

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 19:47:00, 08 May 07
Tags: How Networking Works,NRG,Networking Relationships,Networking Introductions
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