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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

Building trust in networking
I have mentioned before the NRG-networks research into the process of building trust in business relationships through networking.

Alan Rae has conducted more recent research into the same topic and it's great to read that his findings support our own in his articles, Building Trust Part 1 and Part 2.

We identified a 4 step model for building trust, the Advocacy Model, and Alan identifies some of the key skills required:

- having the right attitude
- being absolutely clear about what you do
- being consistent
- being easy to talk to
- listening a lot
- finding helpful connections for the other person

He also summarises what it takes to make networking work really well:

"Above all you have to be clear about what you want out of it – be it collaborators, referrals, employees, introductions to finance. If you are helpful and you let other people know clearly what you do and what you want, consistently – then the magic will start to occur."

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 21 May 09
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,Networking for Advocates,Trust,NRG,Research,Networking Relationships,Networking Objectives
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Are you crystal clear about what you do?
My colleague Martin Davies related a great story about being clear about your target market in his recent post 'Be really specific when defining your Target Market'. It's great advice and the other really important thing is being absolutely crystal clear about what you do for them. The person in his story was very clear.

To get results and referrals from your networking you want your advocates to promote you and what you do when they spot an opportunity. Are you giving them a clear enough message to help them do this?

If you are not sure then ask a few of your good contacts to tell you what they think you do and who for. It can be a real eye opener and help you adjust your message to something much more effective.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 20 May 09
Tags: Business Networking,Target Market,Networking for Advocates,Referrals,Proposition
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Using Social Media to spread Word of Mouth
Yesterday I wrote about the conversation I was having with a Service Business Owner about Twitter. On Friday last week I attended an excellent presentation from Internet Pyschologist Graham Jones about increasing website traffic with 2 simple steps. The Two steps are firstly to generate regular and consistent content, then promote it.

Graham mentioned the drop in his web traffic when not signposting & sharing his content via Twitter. As I wrote in 'How do I use Twitter & Social Networks?' Twitter and other Social Media are great for sharing your expertise and building your reputation.

Are you utilising Social Media in this way?

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 17:48:00, 19 May 09
Tags: Business Networking,Word of Mouth,Social Media
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Engaging in relevant conversations with Social Media
I was speaking with the owner of an Internet Services Business last week about the Seminar I attended earlier in the week from Grant Leboff. I wrote about Grant's views in my post 'Are you the answer for your network?'.

During the conversation he said that he wasn't really sure what to make of Twitter. I said that it was helping me to engage with interested people much quicker than has ever been possible before. Also to track the effectiveness of positive Word of Mouth for your business.

For example a few weeks ago one of the attendees at a monthly NRG Business Networking Event tweeted about his positive experience and a great presentation. The presenter, Ant Hodges, retweeted and one of his contacts asked "What is NRG". Ant replied "NRG is the most effective business networking organisation I have been part of - follow @DaveClarke or visit nrg-networks.com"

Are you engaging in relevant conversations online & keeping track of your 'Word of Mouth'?

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 18 May 09
Tags: Social Networking,Business Networking,Word of Mouth,Social Media,Twitter
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Be really specific when defining your Target Market
At Network Central yesterday a photographer new to networking came over to the NRG stand. He wanted to know how networking might work for him. I asked how he got business - through direct mailing.

"What sort of response do you get" I asked - "Oh about 20%" he said. My jaw dropped and I asked how he got such a high response rate. "Well, I photograph babies and I subscribe to a mailing list where I receive details of women who have just given birth. Most women like to have a photo of their newborn!"

It just shows if you have a really specific target market and you know what they want you can get exceptionally good results.
Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 18:26:00, 16 May 09
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Having conversations that matter when networking
I was asked yesterday for a list of the people and companies that attend our networking events. It's a reasonable request as you want to ensure that you are using your time effectively when you attend networking events.

The question is often asked, but mainly for the wrong reason. People often ask to find out if potential clients will be attending. The right reason is to make sure that other people attend with things in common with you. Others that provide products and services to similar clients to you. That way you can have conversations about the things that matter to your clients and potential clients.

Conversations lead to more connections, relationships and advocates. Ultimately to many more potential clients than you can ever meet yourself. Better to think of the people you meet networking as a route to market and not the market.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 15 May 09
Tags: How Networking Works,Networking for Advocates,Networking Relationships
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Are you the answer for your network?
At a seminar this week at an NRG-networks event in London the speaker, Grant Leboff, shared his insights into the changes taking place in Sales & Marketing. The web has meant a revolution in communication and massive choice in everything that we need. When we need something now we do two things, we ask our network and we search online.

Do you have a strategy for building word of mouth for you and your business?

When someone in your network gets asked about a problem that you solve are you given as THE answer to that problem? You should be if your networking is effective.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 14 May 09
Tags: Business Networking,Sales,Word of Mouth,Marketing
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Be prepared for speaking slots
The seminar presenter at a recent monthly NRG London Charing Cross Networking Event was unavoidably out of the country and unable to attend. One of the members, Cali Bird, stepped forward and presented a great seminar on Time Management in his place.

She shared her expertise and inspired the audience to take some of the steps required to achieve their personal and business goals. She certainly built her reputation and will be at the forefront of the minds of the attendees when they see an opportunity for someone like Cali.

Sharing your expertise in this way is a great way of giving value and growing advocates for you and your business.

If you get the opportunity are you ready to speak?

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 13 May 09
Tags: Business Networking,Networking for Advocates,Public Speaking,Managing reputation
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Applying the 7 habits to your business networking
The best selling Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey lists the seven habits that will help you become more effective if you work on them.

The 7 habits (be proactive, begin with the end in mind, put first things first, think "win/win", seek first to understand and then to be understood, synergise, sharpen the saw) are a great place to start with any personal development.

As you might expect they also offer some great insights into how you can be effective at business networking.

* Habit 1: Be Proactive:
You need commitment and the right attitude. Take the lead in conversations, make connections, and share your expertise.

* Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind:
Work out what you want from your networking. If you are not absolutely
clear about this you will be unable to respond when others offer you help.

* Habit 3: Put First Things First:
Set yourself targets for the things that YOU can control including;
• The amount of time you can devote to networking
• The number of events you can attend
• The number of 1-2-1’s you can arrange
• How much time you can spend online
• Building a contacts database
• What introductions you can give
• Choose the right networking organisation for you

* Habit 4: Think Win/Win:
Develop a giving mentality and become an Advocate for others. An Advocate is someone who promotes you and your services without being asked or paid. Remember, what goes round comes round.

* Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood:
When you meet someone through networking you need to bear in mind whether you want to take it further. To help you decide try & listen more than talk, understand their issues and build rapport. Ask open questions and good follow-up questions. Reveal things about yourself to establish common ground.

* Habit 6: Synergise:
Look for synergies whenever you meet people and add them to your network. The value of future collaboration will exceed the sum of what each of you could achieve on your own.

* Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw:
Use the knowledge in your network to constantly learn and improve. Share your knowledge with the network so they can do the same. Look out for networks that value the education that members can share with each other.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 8:00:00, 12 May 09
Tags: Business Networking,How Networking Works,7 habits
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Time Management and Networking Follow up
In a recent time management seminar before the monthly NRG London City Group Networking Lunch the presenter, Bob Hayward, shared some time management tips for dealing with new items that come up in our work. The specific context was dealing with emails;

4 Ds & 1 F

Delete it - if it's an email that needs nothing further then delete.
Delegate it - if it's not your job pass it on.
Deal with it - if it's quicker to do something now then do it now.
Diary it - if you need to schedule more time make a specific diary entry.
or
File it - if you don't need to action, but feel you may need to refer to it in future.

The one that seems to get forgotten in networking is the Diary one. People enter networking events and One2One meetings in the diary, but not the time for follow up. So next time you are entering things into your calendar set aside time for following up as well. Also remember that you can make use of time that used to be non productive with the mobile devices that many people carry today.

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

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Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 9:00:00, 11 May 09
Tags: Networking Follow Up,Business Development,Time Management
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