Posts Tagged ‘welcome’

Planning your networking = more success

I am waiting for The Business Club East London launch so I have sought refuge in a coffee shop with what turns out to have lousy music and coffee to match. The wifi really is just as bad too!

 

I am sitting here thinking about what I want from the launch tonight.  Who I want to meet?  What I want to achieve whilst I watch the city employees scuttle home after their day at work and while I prepare for another few more hours work and not getting home until midnight. And probably a night on the sofa but that is a whole different story!!!

 

It has been said before that networking is perceived as just a jolly up… Joked that I’m a lady who does breakfast (not lunch or women only events!) but by the very definition networking is working.  I plan to work the room.  I plan to meet my targets.  I plan an outcome.  After all if I fail to plan then I plan to fail; as the saying goes.

 

My targets for tonight are:

  • Arrive on time or slightly early (coffee shop is less than 1 minute away)
  • Get a contact list
  • Find suitable contacts
  • Meet and talk to 5 people I don’t already know
  • Leave with 2 meetings

My target audience is:

  • Construction Industry – interior fit out companies, M & E companies, developers – Project managers, Estimators, QS’s
  • Technology industry – IT companies, Telecoms companies.
  • Education sector – colleges, primary and secondary schools, universities
  • Commercial property managers – facilities managers such as Regus, etc

Anyway I will report back on my evening as I am off to get there early!

 

Some time later….

Networking Persistence Leads to Results

 

It has been an interesting week for me. My husband has completed an NLP Practitioner’s course and I was helping out running the event as I completed the course a while ago. One of the things that I realized is that Chris worked really hard in the lead up to the course to feel that he was capable of doing the course. I, on the other hand, had done very little and felt fine.

It struck me that this is a pattern for me – throughout school, university, sports and my corporate career I breezed through life and everything came easily. I saw pretty much immediate results from the effort that I put in and didn’t really have to put in a huge amount of effort.

Business, and in particular business networking, is different though and dealing with this change has been interesting. In actual fact, the best way to succeed in developing your business through networking is to not be looking for immediate results at all.

The real results in networking come from the time taken to build relationships and build trust with the people you come into contact with. Then they will come to you to sign on the dotted line or will send people to you that are pre-qualified for your product and service and are ready to do business with you. How long this takes depends on your willingness to persist and participate as well as your particular business and the circumstances of the people that you meet. You might get lucky and be delivering the message at exactly the time that the person you are talking to needs to hear it – or it may take a bit longer.

Pass it on economy – are you listening?

 This post is by Bernie  Mitchell

This is almost too obvious to write, “word of mouth is just the best thing you can have.” All the words that go with it like buzz, vibe, pass it on are groovy – ok maybe not viral.

I was at a networking lunch and we were saying what we did and someone jumps in with – “I am Penny and the type of referral I am looking for today is…”

Now was this a misunderstanding? Does she operate in a world where she sits down with people she has never met and something other than lunch arrives at the table?

It occurred to me that the “People to People” economy is a very technical business to be in because you have to plug something in and I don’t just mean electrical power.

I mean REALLY technical as in emotional which is even more complicated. Oscar Wilde famously said that the “only thing worse than being talked about was not being talked about.” Because in the “People to People” economy you need to get people talking about you and that does not happen overnight. Amber Naslund explains this in her blog about building your network before you need them here.

 

I know that people do business with people they know like and trust; previously this applied to B2B, these days both corporate and small companies are in the people to people business.

 

“If you get quiet for long enough, if you really listen, then and only then will they tell you the secret. Knowing the secret means you get to be here five years from now.”

 

Word of mouth is in just about everything we read, write and speak. In the super market or bar a buying decision will be triggered by people talking and an emotional connection.

That gap between stimulus and response happens when we feel something, in this way emotion is our social currency, and passion drives us to pass it on. Because people will naturally pass on passion word of mouth is the most amazing positive influence. Often sales and marketing is misunderstood as a “convincing business” no one likes to be sold or to have someone convince them to do something, whether that is buy a beer, choose a school for their child or buy a new laptop.

 

10 top tips to make life easier when you’re setting up a new business

Running a small business, especially in the early days can be a very lonely place to be so here’s ten top tips to make life easier-

1) Join a networking organisation in your area. Develop a core group of other people you can trust and use each other as mentors – it works.

2) Invest in Customer Information Management software – it will save you weeks of time and make your operation run smoothly.

3) Take nothing for granted with your IT. Check your spam and junk files regularly – I know of at least one company that lost potential orders by not doing so.

4) PR is better than advertising. Develop links with one or two key journalists in your field and talk to them about what’s happening at your business – too many people hide their successes.

5) Organic growth is good, but proactive prospecting is better. Don’t rely on people coming to you. Decide who you want as customers and make contact with them.

6) Be persistent. 80% of people stop making new customer calls after the fourth/fifth attempt. 80% of successful new sales calls are made at the sixth/seventh attempt; do the maths!

7) Value your staff as much as your customers. Without either you will not be in business for long

7 things you shouldn’t do with a business card and 3 you should…… in my opinion!

 

Don’t

  1. Use it as an invitation to send hundreds of sales emails, or even worse (and my personal cardinal sin) add someone to a newsletter email list. Treat people’s details with respect. If you hate receiving spam, don’t become a spammer yourself!
  2. Keep them in bundles, wrapped in elastic bands, waiting for work to come to you. There is a wealth of information in those bundles and you’re missing out by just leaving them languishing in the corner
  3. Collect as many as you can at a networking event. In this case it really is quality over quantity. I’d rather collect one card from someone I want to talk to again then collect 20 from people I didn’t get to know. And of course don’t be the person that rushes round the room throwing your card at everyone in the room, whether you’ve spoken to them or not
  4. Leave them in a library book when you return it. This is someone’s personal data you have taken. They didn’t have to give it to you. You need to respect it and not use it as a bookmark. If you want to do that; use your own! So maybe that s an extreme case , but it’s a serious issue. People don’t have to give you their card; so look after it and use the information wisely.
  5. Make it such an odd shape or size that it doesn’t fit in a card holder. While I love cards that are unique, or different,if you want me to be able to access your details, or more importantly be able to pass your details on to others, then make it easy for me.

10 top tips for new blog ideas…

 

 

As its Easter and a Bank Holiday we’re not posting a blog from one of our regular contributors but thought we’d post one from us instead.

The most frequent question we get asked as the admin of this site is “what would you like me to write about?” so we’ve written this post about where we get the inspiration for our posts from, or which topics make us read a blog post.

LinkedIn : Connections – who should I connect to?

This post is by Philippa Bowen

 

 

As I work with clients on their social media strategies I often get asked about how to grow their connections on LinkedIn. And who should they connect o? Accept invitations from?

 

Well LinkedIn is very specific in its terms and conditions about why it exists and who you should connect to:

A. Purpose.

Networking. Where to start?

An important part of any new business is networking, meeting other people that may either require your services or perhaps know someone that will. Laying foundations with new contacts, and sowing seeds for business growth.

And this day and age there are many networking events out there. All of them are very good. They all have something slightly different to offer.

Why being too Social is bad for Business

This post is by Helen Stothard

 

I had an interesting conversation recently. We were talking about being yourself on Social Media.  Now I have always been an advocate of showing people your true personality on Twitter, down to sharing the mundane stuff such as what you had for dinner, the weather and your TV viewing habits.  I know some people don’t ‘get’ that side of Twitter but for me, it helps me see the person behind the tweets, I build an impression in my mind, whether it’s right or wrong, of that person, and can then tell whether or not I feel I can connect with them.

This is all well and good, but at the end of the day, you should always remember that whenever you tweet you have an audience of thousands, and you also have Google storing your tweets away to resurrect in a Google search out of context at another time.

The weird and wonderful world of networking

This post is by Victoria Roberts

 

Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of networking.  If you’re a virgin networker, don’t be scared…I can gently show you the way.  If you’re a seasoned networker – bravo! I love it too.  If you’re of the tried and didn’t like variety…read on as well…you may be surprised.

After 15 years in the corporate world, I didn’t ‘get’ networking.  The only networking I had been to was the kind of scary ones where you have to be there at the crack of dawn week in week out, cant’ miss it and have to give referrals (“My Auntie Margaret needs her carpet cleaning” cue applause)or the informal ones by the Chamber of Commerce.  They were useless for me…as a woman, walking into a room full of pinstripes suits in a bar was bad enough, never mind trying to make conversation with strangers! Nope, I would stand in the corner with a couple of people I already knew, down my vino and run, which defeated the object.   I prefer some structure and some fun…for my bet, you can’t beat 4Networking (www.4networking.biz) though there are lots of fab networking groups all over.  Google networking in your area and get yourself to a few to try.  However it doesn’t matter who what or how the networking event is, there are some golden rules and some useful tips you need to know.

So for the virginal, tried and died and downright scared…here are my Top Ten Tips to get the most out of your networking:

It’s not what you know but who THEY know

 This post is by Julie Hayward

You know that old saying “it’s not what you know but who you know?” Well it’s very true but if you take it a step further it is even more powerful

These days traditional advertising seems to have been replaced in many ways by networking and connecting with people

Do you take your opportunities?

This post is by Ruth Thirtle

At the moment, I am writing a mini-series on my own blog (www.business-networker.co if you want to check it out) on opportunities in networking. I am discussing how taking opportunities can raise your profile and improve your results. In my research, I came across this great quote by Sam Walton

“There will come a time when big opportunities will be presented to you, and you’ve got to be in a position to take advantage of them”

The Value of LinkedIn

This post was written by Philippa Bowen

I was at a networking event last week. Most of the members there know that I love social media and use it regularly for my business. In fact I have been accused of being an evangelist!  But that didn’t put off one of the members, who came up to me and asked if I use LinkedIn and if it would be useful for him to be on there. My answer was yes, I was sure it was, whatever he wanted to use it for. The obvious question came :  He then asked how I used it.

So what did you achieve in your life, career, business last year?

It’s that time of year again where we look back over the last year and evaluate either how well we’ve done or how on earth did last year go by with only having achieved that much. Where are you sitting right now? How is 2011 looking for you? Read the rest of this entry »