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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

It's who you know!
I am writing this after just collecting my laptop from a friend...

I live about 80 miles West of London and often get the train to attend meetings and events there. Yesterday morning I attended the launch of a new business in Central London. I had a meeting arranged in Reading (Berkshire) at lunchtime so I parked in Reading and got the train to and from London. On the return journey I left my bag on the train.

I called the train company with no luck. I called their lost property company and then the station with the final destination (Bristol). I learned that I wouldn't be able to find out until at least 6 hours later whether the bag had been handed in or not. I called my wife to get the number of a friend of ours who is a train driver with the train company concerned. By coincidence he was on his way to Bristol to start work and got there as my bag was being delivered to the lost property office. Panic over. A couple of weeks ago I helped him with a problem with a new computer and the beers were on him. The beers are definitely on me this time :-)

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 7:16:00, 02 May 07
Tags: How Networking Works,Other
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Simple rule of thumb guide to networking 2
I've been thinking about a previous post, a simple rule of thumb guide to networking. In it I recalled a post on ecademy where I had written: "Ask yourself what you would like people in your Network to do for you, then take the initiative and do it for them".

In some instances people may not want what you want so a better rule of thumb might be:

"Ask yourself what people in your Network would like, then take the initiative and do it for them"

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 22:22:00, 30 Apr 07
Tags: How Networking Works,NRG,Networking Follow Up
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Truth or Delusion
I attended an excellent presentation from Ivan Misner the founder of BNI yesterday. The theme of Truth or Delusion was from his new book on networking which sounds a great read. I think I'll probably refer to a few of his comments in time, but one of his points reminded me of a previous post of mine here>>>.

He presented a number of points and asked the audience if they were Truth or Delusion. The 2nd one was "You have to be an extrovert to be successful at Networking, Truth or Delusion". The answer of course - Delusion. Introverts tend to be better listeners and this is a key skill in successful networking. Use your 2 ears & 1 mouth in the right proportion.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 7:56:00, 26 Apr 07
Tags: How Networking Works,NRG,Networking Relationships
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Practising what your preach
I attended an all day business networking event yesterday. The event was to launch the Apprentice Programme from Business in Berkshire. This is a mentoring programme to match new businesses with more established businesses in the Berkshire area.

I spoke in the morning about 'How Networking Works' and then stayed to listen to the other presenters and to meet and talk with people during the day.

At the end someone said to me it's great to see you practise what you talked about earlier in the day.

It's important when building your reputation to not only say what you should be doing, but to do it too.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 10:09:00, 24 Apr 07
Tags: How Networking Works,NRG,Managing reputation
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Networking is all about managing your reputation!
I was talking to an IFA and an insolvency practitioner at a networking meeting a couple of days ago. The IFA was bemoaning the fact that he had only one (free) meeting with a prospective client before he expected them to sign up. The relationship building had to go a long way in one meeting!

So we talked about how networking helps this relationship building process. We came to the conclusion that networking is all about creating and managing your reputation. Over time, if you network effectively, your reputation goes before you. If you are introduced by someone who rates you by them saying "you must meet John before you make any decision about which IFA to choose" your reputation is working hard for you. When you do have that first meeting it then becomes much easier to make the prospect feel comfortable and to create the right relationship fast!

So think about your networking activity and ask yourself the question "Is this improving my reputation?"

Good networking!

Martin Davies
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 16:55:00, 20 Apr 07
Tags: How Networking Works,Networking Connections,NRG,Networking Relationships,Networking Follow Up,Networking Objectives,Networking Introductions,Managing reputation
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Corporate Networking
In this post here >>> Andy Lopata shares some insights into current Networking thinking in Corporates. He interviewed Jeff Schick, the vice president of social computing software for IBM Corporation in New York, who described a software initiative, 'Lotus Connections' based on their own internal systems.

There appear to be 2 strands when referring to Corporates & Networking - internal & external networking.

1. Internal networking
Perhaps the IBM inititative suggests they know that networking is the way it all works anyway so why not make it more efficient. I remember talking to Keith Willett of Sanderson & Neale about some software tools that they use with Corporates. They have a product called networker to establish the real lines of communication and influence within a business. Definitely not the world according to the org chart.

2. External networking
I often get asked why Corporates don't attend networking events. Often the question is asked by someone who wants to sell to larger companies and this reveals some confusion about what networking really is. Networking is not selling and you are not going to get Corporate representatives flocking to somewhere to be sold too. On the other hand Corporates (banks, insurance, telecoms etc) often see the small business networks as places where their customers congregate and send their salespeople (to sell!) or sponsor their own or other events.

My experience is that Corporates do network externally. Mainly with their peers, and in places where they see it as appropriate to engage. An example of this is with Industry specific networks. When I was in the Telecoms Industry I belonged to the UK based Telecommunications Executive Network. Three quarters of that community are CEO/Director/VP.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 19:26:00, 18 Apr 07
Tags: How Networking Works,Other,NRG
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How networking works
I was looking through some old notes yesterday. I found some notes I made whilst watching a 20 minute talk delivered by Richard White last year.

He made some great points and the list is a great reminder of how to get the most out of networking:

1. Relationships first, business second
2. Network for introducers not cusomers
3. Specialise!
4. Use stories to spark people's memory
5. Increase your activity.

Why not drop me a line if you are interested in further discussion?

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 7:53:00, 17 Apr 07
Tags: How Networking Works,Networking for Advocates,NRG
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Simple rule of thumb guide to networking
In this blog, >A simple, free way of generating all the referrals you can handle, Nigel Temple took one of my posts and expanded on the subject.

He quoted his golden rule: "Treat others as you would like to be treated." I was reminded of something I posted on Ecademy a couple of years ago as the Simple rule of thumb guide to networking:

"Ask yourself what you would like people in your Network to do for you, then take the initiative and do it for them"

As Nigel says, "If you want people to listen to you, start listening to them" and "if you want referrals, start giving referrals - without asking for commission and without thought of return."

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 10:21:00, 16 Apr 07
Tags: How Networking Works,NRG
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Other benefits of Networking
Many people see the start of networking as an exchange of business cards at a networking event and the end as a business referral. If you focus on building relationships the benefits are much greater than a series of one off transactions.

One benefit that I often see is increased confidence. I was reminded of this whilst I listened to a 10 minute presentation at a business networking lunch yesterday. The speaker would not have volunteered had she not been amongst friends that she had got to know over the last couple of years.

I saw a great 10 minutes last year from someone who confessed that he found it difficult to engage in a conversation when he first started networking. Seven months later he delivered a presentation that people still talk about.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 22:17:00, 13 Apr 07
Tags: How Networking Works,NRG,Networking Relationships
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How do you create Advocates for your business?
I was talking to two people last week about a seminar I had just given on the 7 secrets of effective business networking.

One of them said "I agree with everything you said about relationships first, but how do you get someone to be an Advocate for you?"

I didn't get chance to reply as the other one said, "Become an advocate for others first. That's what I did and now I don't have to worry about it!"

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 23:17:00, 12 Apr 07
Tags: Networking for Advocates,NRG
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