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  • Tips to Successful Networking

    Wear your business card
    Keep a box of business cards in your car in case you run out of them at your networking meeting
    Carry a notebook: business cards have little space for notes and memos, and cannot be written on if high-gloss
    Hover near a conversation politely without intruding: you will at some point be acknowledged: until then, just listen
    If you don’t feel comfortable with a stranger who has approached you, politely excuse yourself and explain that you must touch base with one of your colleagues
    Don’t ‘work the room’ too superficially: better to engage with 3 new networkers for 20 mins each than with 12 for 5 mins each
    Exchange business cards, and make notes arising from your 1-2-1 conversations, eg  ‘wants a Will’, ‘has a business problem’ or ‘put in touch with X’
    Ask: ‘Where else do you network ?’ ‘How can I help your business ?’
    ‘Do you feel there might be some synergy between our practices ?’
    Introduce a stranger to a familiar networking colleague
    ‘I have a business colleague I will put you in touch with’: Send Outlook Vcards attached to an email to both parties, and recommend they contact each other to explore synergies
    Arrive early, to engage with the attendees before the start of your presentation
    Prepare a topics menu
    Supply business cards, list of services and response forms for attendees requiring further info
    Don’t quote prices, people will make judgements. Ask them to speak to you privately in the interval or at the end of the meeting
    Allow time for Q & A session
    Arrive early, engage with the meeting co-ordinator if you are new to the networking group, they will be pleased to greet a newcomer who could become a regular attendee
    Offer your Speed Networking 1-2-1 colleague your elevator pitch time allocation, less the 10 secs it takes to pass over your business card. Your colleague will not only appreciate your generosity of time for them to pitch their service, but also will remember you more than most of the other attendees. The benefit to you is that you will learn twice as much about your colleague than normal, and might pick up on new information and synergy helpful to both of you for generating new business
    1-2-1 MEETINGS
    Use your Linked-In connections
    Use your Twitter followers
    Via Linked-In, offer to meet a suitable and interested new networking colleague on a 1-2-1 basis, to discuss obvious business synergies, and treat them to breakfast at your local Toby Carvery/Harvester/Wetherspoons
    Over the meal, ask your new 1-2-1 colleague:-
    How can you help them find new clients,using your contacts ?
    How they got into their current business or industry
    How they built up their business
    How they attract new enquirers and clients
    How they balance business & family
    Where else they network
    Ask about their hobbies and interests, look for commonality, eg you both enjoy table-tennis, musical theatre, 60’s rock and pop music, The Beatles, Cliff Richard, Roy Orbison, playing guitar or even all 7……well that’s my confession out in the open !
    Call up your fellow industry-related networking colleagues, and form co-operatives or Enterprise Generation Groups’, ‘EGGs’. eg IFAs, Accountants and Insurance Brokers, or eg Wedding Photographers, Florists and Events Caterers.
    Such groups could meet regularly for joint meetings and initiatives a) to promote their respective services to each other, b) to refer  existing and new potential clients to each other, and c) to make their respective services known to the market at large
    If your diary is looking bare, call up a business colleague & ask where they are networking in the next 7 days  Click on Networking in Essex page  

    Engage in non-business activities: After some months, your fellow eg sports/social club colleagues will get to know what you do, and could recommend you or become your clients Join/use SKYPE with your new networking buddies, and for new enquirers from your website, you will achieve better conversion from enquiry to appointment, be better remembered AND reduce your telephone costs   www.skype.com/intl/en-us/get-skype/


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