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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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Developing a networking plan
"It pays to plan ahead it wasn't raining when Noah built the ark"

Somewhere in your office you may well have a business plan.
Even better, you may have a marketing plan!
If you do does it include your networking activity?
If you don’t know where you are going with your networking how can others help you?

The second of our '10 tips for building business with the effective use of offline & online networks' is develop a plan.

Answer the following:
- what is your target market?
- what are the problems you solve for them?
- how much business are you looking to generate via word of mouth?
- how much time can you devote to your networking activities?

Identify others likely to have access to your target market
- how do you get to know them?
- how can you help them achieve their goals?

When you can answer these questions you are have the basis of a networking plan which you can begin acting on right away.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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business networking | business networking events | business networking podcast


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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 11 Mar 09
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Networking Objectives
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Getting comfortable with how networking works
I had a One2One meeting with an NRG-networks member earlier this week. He wanted to update me on a new business he was involved in and get my views. When I first met him four years ago he had just bought a franchise. That was his first foray into the small business or SME world. He explained that in his first year he had beaten the previous best first year by more than double.

We explored how he had managed to do that. He explained that NRG-networks were the first network he joined and then others followed. He attended regularly and helped everyone he met by offering them some valuable input in their marketing communications. He didn't sell to anyone, but referrals and business flowed his way.

In yesterday's post, 'The same networking rules apply in the real world & the online world', I featured Seth Godin talking about networking and explaining that "Networking is all about helping people achieve their goals reliably and repeatedly then guess what? They start to do the same for you!"

Tip 1 in my '10 tips for building business with the effective use of offline & online networks' is get comfortable with how networking works. It's not about meeting people once and moving on. It is all about building relationships first and may require a different approach to the one you are used to.

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

business networking | business networking events | business networking podcast


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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 06 Mar 09
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Networking Relationships
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The same networking rules apply in the real world & the online world
I just watched this great video posted by Debbie Weill on Youtube. In it Seth Godin answers the question "Is Social Networking important for small business?" and provides some great insight into how to network.



Thanks to Nicholas Braak for signposting this on Twitter & Ecademy.

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

business networking | business networking events | business networking podcast


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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 05 Mar 09
Tags: Social Networking,Business Networking,How Networking Works,Word of Mouth
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Do I know you?
These words appeared alongside a stern looking man in an advertisement in a 1950s business publication:

“I don’t know who you are.
I don’t know your company.
I don’t know your company’s product.
I don’t know what your company stands for.
I don’t know your company’s customers.
I don’t know your company’s record.
I don’t know your company’s reputation.
Now — what was it you wanted to sell me?
”

The moral of the ad was that sales starts before your salesman calls and was promoting advertising in McGraw Hill Magazines. The original can still be seen on their website (http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/aboutus/images/ad_maninchair_lg.jpg).

Most business owners and partners in professional firms I meet say they have no problem selling. Their main problem is getting in front of the right person. Building trusted relationships through networking means you can refer your network to their right people and, in turn, be referred to yours.

Becoming an advocate for someone means unreservedly recommending them when you see the right circumstances. When someone is given that sort of word of mouth referral the recipient knows all about their reputation, what they do and why they are there.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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business networking | business networking events | business networking podcast


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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 25 Feb 09
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Word of Mouth,Networking for Advocates,Trust,Networking Relationships,Networking Introductions
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Walking your talk
Have you noticed the way children learn from what we do rather than what we say? The same is true of the people we network with. They learn far more about us from how we act than from how we introduce ourselves. It is vital in building a trusted relationship that you demonstrate that you are both consistent in what you do and that your actions are congruent with your message.

I hosted one of our NRG business networking groups in Reading on Friday. On Thursday I received a phone call from a business owner who wanted to come and who said to me, "I just wanted to check it was ok with you that I attend as I also run a group for another networking organisation."

I explained to him that we actively encourage cooperation and collaboration between networks. It is one way of demonstrating to our members how we build business relationships in the same way as we facilitate that process for them.

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

business networking | business networking events | business networking podcast

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 17:22:00, 23 Feb 09
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Trust,NRG,Networking Relationships
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How to get something done
"There are three ways to get something done:
do it yourself, employ someone, or forbid your children to do it
."

That's a great and amusing quote from Monta Crane.

Many owners of small businesses and professional firms, however, seem to think there is only one way and they try and do everything themselves. There is nothing more unrewarding than spending a day trying to sort out the administration and accounting that would take a professional little more than minutes per week. We had the tax return deadline in the UK recently and there were more than a few business owners scratching their heads over carrier bags full of a years receipts!

There are a great and growing number of providers of outsourced administration, bookkeeping and VA services. You can 'employ' someone to take on that work very cost effectively whilst you concentrate on building your core business and its value.

Remember that networking is a great way of finding suppliers and team members as well as growing your business.

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

business networking | business networking events | business networking podcast

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 17 Feb 09
Tags: How Networking Works,Networking Objectives
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The difference between Networking and Selling
I attended two recent networking events recently. At each of these I met someone running a property business for the 1st time. Each of them sold properties abroad to UK Nationals.

The first one described how he had got into the business after buying a property himself. His experience had been problematic to say the least and he determined that in his business he would do everything to ensure a great experience for the client so they could buy the property and enjoy it free from hassle and red tape. During our conversation we found we had various interests, friends and acquaintances in common. We agreed to meet up again and explore how we can help each other.

The second one gave the briefest of elevator pitches and then said "Is that something you would be interested in?". The conversation was very brief.

Which of the two do you think will lead to a mutually beneficial and profitable relationship?

You can hear more about the subject in this podcast on the difference between networking and selling.

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

business networking | business networking events | business networking podcast

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 05 Feb 09
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Networking Relationships
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Pay Attention!
I can remember the words of teachers at school instructing us to "Pay Attention" at certain times. They were used to get us to focus on the teacher or the task in hand and stop paying attention to ourselves and other distractions. The teacher knew that we would only learn if we paid attention.

As we start a new working week I know where we are headed as a business in the longer term, the next two to three years. I also know where we are headed in the shorter term, the next two to three months. This means I also know which things are important right now. I also know that if I don't pay attention to them they will not happen.

Paying Attention is important in networking too. Both with regard to your objectives and to the people you meet. When you meet with someone at a networking meeting or in a One2ONe remember to pay full attention to the other person when they are speaking. Only then will you be able to listen fully to what they are saying, ask good questions and be able to identify what they are looking for and how you can help.

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

business networking | business networking events | business networking podcast

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 02 Feb 09
Tags: Business Networking,One2One,How Networking Works,Networking Objectives,Attention
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Who do you already know, like and trust?
I have used this quote from Bob Burg before:

"All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to
— those people they know, like and trust.
"

I meet many business owners and professionals who end up constantly searching for new contacts when networking. It seems that it is very easy to forget those that we already have a relationship with.

I met with a partner in a consultancy firm last week who had carried out a business diagnostic for nearly 100 companies a couple of years back. What a great database of ready made contacts without having to meet anyone new!

In a recent podcast, 'How to start building your network', I spoke about identifying those people you already know or have worked with. A little bit of reconnecting can produce brilliant results.

Some of those people already know, like and trust you!

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

business networking | business networking events | business networking podcast

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 15:29:00, 20 Jan 09
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,NRG,Networking Relationships
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Generating business through Linkedin
I recently reconnected with someone on Linkedin that I had done business with previously. We already knew, liked and trusted each other & are now doing business again. It has also led to us delivering some additional networking training business for business owners and professional firms.

It is worth using the Linkedin tools to find the people from your existing contacts that are already there and getting back in touch. People often forget their existing contacts when networking and I talked about this in a podcast recently, 'How to start building your network'.

The following article from the NRG Business Networking Newsletter by Will Kintish explains more about how Linkedin works;
'LinkedIn…your best online networking friend'.

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

business networking | business networking events | business networking podcast

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 9:00:00, 16 Jan 09
Tags: Social Networking,Business Networking,How Networking Works,Networking Connections,NRG,Networking Relationships
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