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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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The Real Value In Business Networking

You may well have been told that networking is an essential business activity, but struggle to see the value in it.

 

In this short video Martin Davies of NRG explains the top three reasons why people find networking so valuable.

 

 

Let me know if it helps.

 

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke

 

          

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 16:26:01, 26 Feb 16
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,networking training
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What To Do If Your Networking is Not Working

One of the biggest challenges you face as a professional or entrepreneur is finding an effective route to market. Many successful professionals and entrepreneurs find Business Networking is an essential part of their go to market strategy. Others are frustrated with the time and money they spend without results.

 

If you have invested time and money networking without a good return don't despair. In this short video my NRG colleague, Martin Davies, explains how to turn things around.

 

 

Let me know if it helps.

 

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke

 

          

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 17:28:44, 22 Jul 15
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,networking training
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Do people you know confuse networking & selling?

stopDo you ever meet people at networking events who are only interested in what they do and if you may be interested in buying from them? I know I do, but many of them just haven’t learned that networking and selling are different activities. Others will have been told that networking events are just sales opportunities.

 

For many people in business the idea of selling is scary or frightening. Some view the very idea of being thought of as a salesperson as something that is tacky or beneath them. These are real problems for many business owners because if you don't sell you don't have a business. This can lead people to approach networking in entirely the wrong way and act as if it as a quick solution to their selling woes. Instead of taking the time to build a network they treat everyone they meet as a potential prospect and put them off immediately. They may well end up believing networking doesn't work and outsource their selling (potentially wasting even more time and effort). 

 

You can’t blame these people for behaving this way when no one has explained the best approach and they see some very confusing messages about networking. Some organisers of 'networking' events encourage people to see it as selling by advertising their events as your opportunity to network with 'decision makers' or to 'find your next client'. It doesn't help either when every available break at a conference, exhibition or other jamboree is called a networking opportunity.

 

The people who are effective at networking and selling treat them as different activities.

 

Networking is for the longer term and can lead to many more sales opportunities than if you treat everyone as a potential customer. It is an ongoing activity where you build a network of trusted relationships for support, information and business. A network of friends in business who look out for each other and who help each other succeed. Different people or groups of people will fulfil different functions in your network and you will do the same for them. The people who give you the best ideas or market intelligence may not be the ones who refer you to your target market. The ones who refer you are extremely valuable for your sales process and will have trusted relationships with your target market. They are likely to be providers to or clients of your target market.

 

Selling is interacting directly with your target market in order to sell them your services. Not to be confused with networking, but essential to the success of your business. Some of your prospecting is actually part of your sales process and not networking at all. Selling is the bit that happens after you have identified a prospect directly or have been introduced or referred by someone in your network. If someone in your network declares an interest in buying your stuff then that's an unexpected bonus.

 

Don’t be surprised that if you approach networking as a kind of 'soft' selling you will most likely be adding to your business development problems rather than solving them.

 

Until next time ...

 

Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke

          

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 13:38:59, 03 Dec 13
Tags: Business Networking,Selling,How Networking Works,Networking Relationships
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Focus On The Process And Not The Outcome

Cover of The Antidote by Oliver BurkemanIn a blog post I read earlier by Eric Barker on 'Barking Up The Wrong Tree' I was interested in what Oliver Burkeman had to say about how to set goals that work. Guardian journalist Burkeman was interviewed by Barker following the publication of his book, The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking.

 

This is what he said about setting goals that work.

 

"For a long time there’s been an absolutely unquestioned dogma that having clear and ambitious goals is always a fantastic thing. I don’t think that that is absolutely wrong in all cases but there’s this huge shadow side to goal setting.

 

There’s a lot of evidence now that shows they can actually be demotivating. Goals can tempt people to cut ethical corners and to cheat when they are too rigidly focused on those goals.


The best thing to do is to set process goals rather than outcome goals. Stop telling yourself you’re going to write the great American novel, and tell yourself you’re going to do 500 words a day. Step back from focusing on the outcome and focus on process."

 

This approach certainly worked for me in gaining my Taekwondo Black Belt. I didn't start training 5 and a half years ago with a goal of getting my black belt. I started because my son wanted to do it and so I did too for a couple of reasons. One was to enjoy an activity with him and the other was that I would need to leave to pick him up just after I would get home from dropping him off! I just followed the training regime the instructors gave me. I now have my black belt 2nd Dan and am traing for my 3rd.

 

What are the lessons of this approach for networking?

 

Many people focus on what they are hoping to sell and end up actually putting people off. If you are networking to get help, support and business then it's safe to assume the people you meet want the same. The process that leads to that outcome is the building of trusted relationships and making friends in business. Focus on that process by getting to really know the people in your networks through one to one interactions and giving them help, support and introductions to other business contacts and opportunities. The wonderful thing is that as you do that for others then others do it for you.

 

Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke

          

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 20:43:07, 18 Nov 13
Tags: Business Networking,Goals,How Networking Works
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The little things that make the difference

Little ThingsIn a recent blog post the Internet Psychologist, Graham Jones, explained why many New Year resolutions have no chance of success. Goal setting only works for a minority of people and even they may set themselves up to fail. You can read Graham's full post here.

 

I have heard many people express a desire to get better results through networking. Many of their resolutions are about achieving this by doing something different rather than by doing it differently. There is a subtle difference which I will explain.

 

Their 'doing something different 'often involves attending more networking meetings, fewer networking meetings or different ones. This comes from thinking that simply attending meetings will bring results. It will not!

 

Results come from the relationships you build and whilst being at the same meeting is an important part of the process it is not enough. It is the little things outside of the group meetings that make the difference. The 121s before or after, the phone calls between times, sharing stuff with them via email or social media, introducing them to other contacts, sharing a beer, sharing a coffee and all the other social interactions that go into any relationship.

 

Doing something differently means you may need to think of networking in a different way. Think of it as a process or system for building business relationships and not as an event based activity. Then you need to schedule time for the little things alongside the big stuff. Put small blocks of time in your diary for these activities.

 

Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke

      

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 13:11:37, 05 Jan 12
Tags: How Networking Works,Networking for Advocates,new year resolutions,Networking Relationships
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How you give determines what you get in networking

advocateThere is one question about Business Networking that I am asked more than any other.

 

It is "How can I get more from my networking?"

 

There are many things that you can do and I write about them frequently here. The number one thing may require a shift in your thinking. It means giving first without placing conditions.

 

If you are networking for advocates then you need to become an advocate for others first. In this short podcast I explain more about the importance of this concept.

 

Invest 3 minutes in listening here:

 

Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke

      

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 14:04:43, 07 Nov 11
Tags: Networking for Advocates,How Networking Works
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Your Unique Networking Proposition

Mirror

In a recent NRG Boardroom session we were dicussing an issue that is common to many business owners and professionals. The concern about generating enough new sales is often the primary reason these people go networking.

 

A lot of email and web advertising puports to help you address this 'selling' issue and get you quick sales. Others promise quick returns from networking by helping you craft the perfect elevator pitch or by teaching you how to 'work the room'. Other ones promise to give you the secrets to promoting your business on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.

 

There are useful lessons to be learned from many of the courses and materials promoted, but they are not the real answer. Business Networking is an indirect route to market. Results come when someone is motivated to recommend or refer you. So how do you make your networking effective and generate these recommendations?

 

That is where your unique networking proposition comes in and the picture above of a mirror is a clue to what it is. Look in a mirror and what do you see? This is not a trick question, the thing you see is YOU. You are the unique proposition in your business networking. It is your passion and enthusiasm that others buy into. It is this passion and enthusiasm that comes across when you help others in your network. It is why you have no problem selling when you get in front of the right person who needs the service you provide.

 

Getting in front of these right people is the real issue for generating business from networking. That happens when people know, like, rate and trust you. That results from building relationships and doing stuff for others in your network.

 

Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 14:59:16, 17 May 11
Tags: Networking Relationships,How Networking Works
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Pull versus Push in Networking

I have a couple of saved searches in Google & Twitter on the subject of business networking. Many of the daily results are for training sessions or webinars on how to get more from your networking. The vast majority of these are focused on crafting the perfect elevator pitch, getting more leads, selling more or becoming a social media expert. It is all about push and completely misses how successful networking really works.

 

I was chatting about this and other stuff recently with Bernie Mitchell of TCS Digital World. I met Bernie a few years ago through networking and he shared his frustrations about the way many people are encouraged to go around passing out business cards like confetti and delivering pitches rather than engaging in conversations. Precisely the wrong approach to successful networking.

 

I asked Bernie about his approach and he said it is all about pull rather than push:

 

"It is about creating attraction without letting off fireworks! Good networks build community, encourage authenticity and facilitate connectedness.


Building community through fostering the right spirit and allowing people to express themselves in a peer to peer environment.


Encouraging authenticity through communicating honestly and without front or putting on an act.


Facilitating connectedness by providing the structure for people to really make the effort to get connected."

 

He also said the people he sees that really get results often appear really quiet for 6 months. The thing that they have done is taken the time to watch, listen and learn first. They have known how to fit in, build relationships, help others first and become attractive.

 

Paraphrasing Stephen Covey from his 7 habits they have sought to understand others first before attempting to be understood!

 

Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 16:57:31, 22 Feb 11
Tags: How Networking Works,Business Networking Groups,Networking Relationships
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Business Networking in 5 Simple Steps

Yesterday I shared the NRG Networking or Advocate Marketing System in a session with NRG Group Leaders. The system is based on our own experiences and on some research.

 

It is a simple and straightforward system made up of 5 essential steps;

 

1. Set your networking objectives

2. Identify your target market

3. Develop your proposition

4. Define your inner network

5. Build your advocates

 

1. What are you trying to achieve through networking? There are various reasons why people network. The main reason is to generate more business. Other reasons include finding suppliers, acquiring knowledge and identifying others to collaborate with.

 

2. If your customers are all in one market segment then it is easy to identify your target market. Often, though, it is more difficult as you may work with businesses in very different sectors. Instead of saying "I deal with lots of different types of business" try and identify the common need or problem you work on. Your target market could be businesses with that issue.

 

3. Your proposition should be based on the successful outcome you leave your clients with. The result of your work and not what you actually do. Illustrate what you say with examples and stories. Some NRG ones are here in NRG member success stories.

 

4. Your inner network are the people you regularly spend time with. Identify those others with influence in your target market.

 

5. Your advocates are those people who go out of their way to recommend you and your services. That don't do that by accident. They do it because they know, like, rate and trust you. They get to that stage after you have built a relationship where you have been doing the same for them and others.

 

Download this interactive workbook and build your own simple networking plan:

Business Networking System

 

Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 14:38:32, 15 Feb 11
Tags: Networking for Advocates,Business Networking,business networking system,How Networking Works
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Making Friends in Business

 

I have just returned from a week skiing in the French Alps on what is now the annual #Netski trip organised by Warren Cass www.warrencass.com. The party was made up of 20 business people who have become friends through organised networking. This year they included leaders from 4networking www.4networking.biz, Business-Scene www.business-scene.com, Directors Centre http://www.directorscentre.co.uk, Ecademy www.ecademy.com, Tax Advice Network www.taxadvicenetwork.co.uk and NRG-networks www.nrg-networks.com. 
In the organised networks we run we help business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs to develop business through networking. This works if you focus on building relationships first with the right people. Do the right things and business follows. Nobody on the skiing trip was selling to each other yet business was done and referred. Relationships first, business second.
I overheard a conversation between one of our party and someone else on a lift. The other person had asked what organised business networking was all about. After the reply he said, "I see, you're in the friends making business."
Friends are people you know well and like. They show loyalty, affection and offer help and support. All things that you need in running your business!
Friends first, business second.
Good Networking!
Dave Clarke http://www.nrg-networks.com/index.php?alias=dave

I have just returned from a week skiing in the French Alps on what is now the annual #Netski trip organised by Warren Cass. The party was made up of 20 business people who have become friends through organised networking. This year they included leaders from 4networking, Business-Scene, Directors Centre , Ecademy , Tax Advice Network  and NRG-networks 


In the organised networks we run we help business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs to develop business through networking. This works if you focus on building relationships first with the right people. Do the right things and business follows. Nobody on the skiing trip was selling to each other yet business was done and referred. Relationships first, business second.


I overheard a conversation between one of our party and someone else on a lift. The other person had asked what organised business networking was all about. After the reply he said, "I see, you're in the friends making business."


Friends are people you know well and like. They show loyalty, affection and offer help and support. All things that you need in running your business!


Friends first, business second.


Good Networking!

Dave Clarke 

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 11:58:33, 08 Feb 11
Tags: Business Networking,Social Networking,How Networking Works,Business Networking Techniques
50059 Views 3 Comments

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