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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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How To Get More Business Through Networking

Building Advocacy SmallI have been running a series of workshops recently on 'How to Make Networking Really Work For You By Building Advocacy'. At the start of the session I get everyone to complete an honest assessment of where they are starting from. Once you know where you are starting from you can work out the things you need to do to get better results. The most important thing in actually getting more business through networking is then taking action on the things you need to do to get better results. This action plan is what we go on to do in the workshop. For those of you that cannot get to one I am going to cover the different areas in a series of blogs*.

 

The way we get everyone to assess where they are starting from in the workshop is using 10 questions for people to discover their strengths and where they have room for improvement. The questions cover the things that you need to get right to get results as shown in this graphic.

Building Advocacy

 

You can complete these questions using an interactive pdf by clicking on the picture below.

Word of Mouth Readiness

 

* Part one of this blog series 'Getting More Business Through Networking' will cover the NRG Advocacy System and getting a real financial return.

 

Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke

         

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 20:30:16, 31 May 12
Tags: Advocacy,Networking for Advocates,Business Networking
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The key partners for your business

Business NetworkThere was a good article from Jay Love on inc.com this week on 6 Outstanding 'Unofficial' Business Partners. In the article which is well worth a read he identified six relationships that are worth nurturing if you are using informal contacts to drive your business.

 

Using informal contacts to drive your business is at the heart of business networking and these key partners should not be confined to the people you meet at your regular networking groups. In a good group you will be building and maintaining relationships with complementary businesses with similar target markets to yours and these are the cornerstone of your business network. In Jay's article a good 50% of converted business leads came via this group.

 

You will also have other good relationships that could help you to grow your business if you asked. Theses include people you know in industry/trade associations, your professional advisors, key suppliers, customers and old colleagues. Next time you have a conversation with one of these why not explore the additional possibilities with them. You could make a point of speaking with a few of them every week to arrange a catch up.

 

Who are the key informal partners for you in your business and are there people who could be with just a little effort?

 

Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke

     

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 16:46:39, 09 Mar 12
Tags: Networking Relationships,Business Networking Groups,Networking for Advocates
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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 To Get More From Your Networking

Return on RelationshipsIn my last blog I wrote that there was one question I get asked more than any other.

 

"How can I get more from my networking?"

 

Some people go further and complain that they spend vast amounts of time networking without any return on the activity.

 

The main problem is often that they are just spending time on the activity itself. They are not really investing in the relationships where the real benefits of networking are to be found. In this short podcast I share some simple ideas about how to motivate others to help you get a return on your networking investment.

 

Invest 3 minutes in listening here:

 

Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke

      

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 15:00:21, 15 Nov 11
Tags: Networking for Advocates,networking with NRG
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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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One Essential in Building Business Relationships

121 meetingIn 'Following up has never been easier to do',  I wrote that The social web has enhanced your ability to maintain connectedness and nurture relationships with people within your networks. The key to building a successful relationship with someone in business networking is follow up.

 

At the heart of this follow up activity is the One to One Meeting (121). 121 interactions are an essential step in building quality business relationships. They are the next step after you have invested time in getting to know someone a little through networking.

 

Your aim in the first meeting could just be to establish whether you are going to go forward & build a business relationship or not. You don't need a formal agenda, but there are some things that help in the long term when you agree them up front.

 

1. How much time you will both set aside for the meeting

2. What do you want to learn about each others background and business?

3. Is there a fit between your business and theirs? If you can see yourself being able to introduce them to other trusted contacts of yours then what would need to happen for that to take place?

4. What will the next steps be?

 

Listen to some more ideas about what to discuss in 121 meetings in this short podcast.

 

Invest 3 minutes in listening here:

 

Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke

      

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 17:03:44, 25 Oct 11
Tags: Networking Follow Up,Networking for Advocates,Networking Relationships,Social Networking,#121
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Less is more in business networking

Inner NetworkThe essence of networking for business is not about meeting as many people as possible. Neither is it about swapping business cards and moving on.

 

It is about really connecting then building and nurturing relationships with the right people. You need to engage in conversation first to start those relationships. In this short podcast I talk about how to really connect.

 

Invest 3 minutes in listening here:

Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke

  

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 13:32:53, 31 Aug 11
Tags: business networking tips,Podcast,Networking Relationships,Networking for Advocates
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Are you enjoying the fruits of your networking?

Business Networking FruitOver the last couple of weeks we have been enjoying the cherries from one of our fruit trees. I picked these a couple of weeks ago and it struck me when I did that where the best fruit was. As you would expect there was none on the tree trunk and the best fruit was not that growing on or nearest to the boughs (main branches) either.

 

The best fruit was that growing on branches growing off the boughs or one more branch removed. This is a good metaphor for showing where the real results are won in business networking. The boughs represent the direct relationships you build with people in your network, but that is not where you get the rewards. It is your investment in growing these relationships (your advocates) that lead to results from their first and second level connections.

 

It can be easy to forget that although the best fruit comes from the smaller branchlets they are nourished through the main branches. So make sure you are doing the right things with your close network in order to receive the benefits of their advocacy.

 

Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 15:12:36, 28 Jun 11
Tags: business networking tips,Networking for Advocates
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The best way to reach new people

Business RelationshipsThe chances are that at some stage in your business you will want to find new people as clients.

 

If you are a small business providing high value specialist or professional services this can be quite a challenge.

 

Many small firms attempt to address this challenge by investing large sums of money and time in trying to reach this new audience directly. They will try and craft the perfect message and use tactics such as email campaigns, search engine optimisation, or cold calling. The main problem with most of this activity is that it leads to one brief interaction and then nothing. The campaigns that do work are based on building a relationship rather than getting one message across.

 

The more service based you are the harder it is for this sort of approach to work. Very few small organisations have the resources of the very large ones who spend millions on building a trusted brand.

 

So how do you reach new people?

 

When I ask people where they get the best new business from the answer is nearly always 'word of mouth' or 'recommendation'. The best way to reach new people is to do things that generate more 'word of mouth' and 'recommendation'.

 

The chances are that you already know most of the people you need to know to get introduced to enough new people. Invest your time and money in strengthening your ties with your network rather than with strangers.

 

Even if you use other marketing tactics to reach new people your word of mouth networking is still important. Before someone buys your services they will invariably speak to someone else first.

 

Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 14:57:45, 03 May 11
Tags: Business Development,Marketing,Networking for Advocates
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Are you too focused on meeting new contacts?

RolodexIn the search to find new business or new opportunities through networking you can find yourself spending most of your time meeting new people. When you are building and maintaining a vibrant network you need to make new connections, but take care that it is not at the expense of existing ones. Make sure you allocate sufficient time for keeping in regular contact with the people you already know.

 

People advocate the people they know, like, rate and trust for the business and job opportunities they find. It can take a long time to build a relationship to that level, but if you do not keep it up it can be much quicker to lose it.

 

I spoke to one professional last week who was looking for new consultancy work. His whole focus was on finding new people. He had not thought to keep in touch with the people from his last 2 big projects. Not just the clients, but the other professionals and contractors who had been involved. He had even employed some of these himself. The reality is that he is much more likely to find what he needs through these people than through the fleeting contact he has with most new connections. These older relationships will need some work to rebuild, but that is likely to be much quicker than starting from scratch.

 

When was the last time you went through your contacts to see if you ought to spend more time with some of them?

 

A little bit of keeping in touch really does go a long way to making your networking productive.

 

Good Networking!

Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke

Business Networking Blog > Posted by Dave Clarke at 15:48:02, 13 Apr 11
Tags: Networking for Advocates,Networking Relationships
39751 Views 2 Comments

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