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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

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Reputation, Friends and Generosity
Nancy Williams of Tiger Two presented a seminar on 'Online Reputation Management' before the NRG business networking lunch in London Charing Cross last week. She presented 13 top tips and I picked out 3 as being equally applicable to networking 'offline'.

1. Check out your reputation - Nancy shared how you can easily check your online reputation. In fact her blog has detailed instructions on creating an online reputation management dashboard.

Why not ask some of your customers and networking contacts for their thoughts on your reputation? Ask them particularly to focus on what it is they think you do and who for. That way you know where you need to concentrate your message.

2. Make friends - Nancy spoke about being strategic about social networking sites and choosing your friends carefully. Those with similar interests in the same field as you.

It is the same in networking. Are you networking in those groups and places where you can build business relationships with other professionals operating in similar markets and fields to you?

3. Be generous - Nancy suggested that you give before you receive.

Exactly the mindset for successful networking. Are you connecting others, providing useful information and giving referrals first?

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 11:15:00, 05 Jun 08
Tags: Social Networking,Business Networking,NRG,Managing reputation
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10 top tips to get sustainable business through networking
The latest Synergy Business Networking Newsletter from NRG-networks includes 10 top business networking tips from my colleague, Martin Davies.

1. Develop a plan
2. Don’t expect early results
3. Build relationships first
4. Show a genuine interest in other people
5. Know your target market
6. Prepare your proposition
7. Listen more than talk - and ask open questions
8. Always follow up contacts
9. Arrange contact meetings
10. Develop Networking Advocates

Read the full article at this link,
10 top tips to get sustainable business through networking

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 8:55:00, 02 Jun 08
Tags: Business Networking,NRG
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Are you always ready to speak?
I learned yesterday that I was speaking at a breakfast meeting this morning in the 'education' slot. I asked a few questions before deciding which aspects of business networking to concentrate on.

There are a lot of opportunities for you to share your expertise and raise your profile at events. There are many more if you are prepared to speak at short or no notice! I have stepped in at the last minute on a number of occasions including some paid ones.

I don't prepare exactly what to say, but I have identified certain key messages and outlines for;
30 seconds
1 minute
2 minutes
5 minutes
10 minutes
40 minutes
1 hour 2 hours
Half Day
Full Day

I have, however, seen people refuse opportunities to speak because thay are not ready. If you don't feel ready then prepare a few options and the next time you get the opportunity take the plunge and volunteer to speak. Your audience will be on your side and it's a great way of helping people understand when and how to advocate you!

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 10:28:00, 30 May 08
Tags: Business Networking,Networking for Advocates,NRG
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Who is in your inner network?
In a recent 121 meeting with another member of a breakfast network I belong to we spoke about the importance of building relationships with others who provide a complementary service to the same target market.

One of the services she provides is a diagnostic as part of the Investors in People standard. This often identifies opportunities for her as a trainer & for other professionals operating in the same space. She mentioned others involved in compliance and standards. For example HR, Health & Safety, ISO9000 & Employment Law.

A ready made list of the type of professionals for her to form close business relationships with!

In the course of your conversations with clients and prospects who else could you regularly refer? Could it be that those are the very same people who could be regularly referring you?

Find and join the networking groups where you can get to meet those other professionals regularly.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Get 7 networking secrets for business success

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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 15:32:00, 29 May 08
Tags: Business Networking,NRG,Networking Relationships
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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
Get 7 networking secrets for business success

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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

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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 7:33:00, 14 May 08
Tags: How Networking Works,NRG
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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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