1. You keep selling. Seriously stop selling. Networking is about building good relationships and getting to know people, you need to stop putting you on your agenda and start putting other people on your agenda. Who do they want to know? What do they need? What are they looking for? Etc, etc. The more you learn about your fellow networkers, the more powerful your network and more useful you become.
2. Just flip Top Tip 1 on its head. You have no agenda, so know your agenda. Most people rock up to a networking event, head for the coffee, and the people they already know and generally chat, that is great and really good to build good relationships but have you thought prior to the event what your goal is? How does this networking event fit in with your marketing strategy? Go knowing what you want to achieve, but don’t start selling!
3. You are not prepared. Prepare a elevator pitch of around 45 seconds regardless. This helps focus your mind on what you want to talk about, what will your call to action be? What do you want people to be doing? What results would you like to see? (And the results you want to see after one networking event is 15 new clients, unless you are selling Ferraris for a £1, its not likely to happen, so think through what you really want to see happen.)
4. You can say what you like right? Wrong. People know people. And the whole point of networking is that people get to know you. If you turn up and start bad mouthing another person or network, it is highly likely to get back to them. Respect everyone and be aware that you are a walking bill board for your business. Did you know it takes 300 to 500 millionth of second for a person on the word “Hello” To decide what they think of you. So what are you projecting? How do you look after your reputation and get known for the right reasons?
5. You don’t follow up. It’s no good going once and assuming sales will start falling from the sky. (We are back to the Ferrari’s for a £1 aren’t we!) Going once is not enough. You need to go to the same network at least 4 times to find out if it is right for you, don’t make assumptions that these people are no good for your business, you don’t know yet who they know. So go regularly to really benefit and follow up effectively. Connect on social media, get to know them. If you said you would send a great top tip or share a link to a funny story, do it!
Networking is not rocket science but it does take respect, knowledge, strategy, focus and action. There are a ton of other things it needs, but for now get noisy about other people. Get engaging, take action and let us know how you get on.
This article was written by our Founder Mandie Holgate. To learn more about Mandie Holgate visit the Essex page or www.mandieholgate.co.uk
As Essex Coordinator I often get told “There are so many networks to chose from, how do I know yours is any good?”
And its a fair point. There is a ton of choice out there – which is great for the consumer…..and the network. You see we never placed ourselves as a rival, on the contrary we regularly promote other networks and business groups, why? Because if its good for business we want to be telling you about it.
A different approach you may say, well yes, but then it works. You see we are here to do the hard work for you. Try out the networks, the seminars and workshops and we share with you the good stuff. You can expect to hear about those ideas at every event in the business ops slot at 10.30.
But lets get down to the nitty gritty – you network because ultimately it leads to leads and sales and profit and success. On top of those things at the BWN you can expect support (it can be a lonely world for a business woman – and its great to know what you are experiencing or finding tough someone else has the answers to – probably because they have been through it too!)
You get motivated into action – so often women say to me, thanks to coming to The BWN last week, I picked up the phone/got in touch/changed my website/got up and spoke about my company/challenged their decision/went for it/took my business to the next level. And that results in even more success.
The BWN blogs and “What Business Women Say” pages of our website are packed with testimonials of how we have helped business women get what they want for their business and their success – all in an environment that is always welcoming (never clicky!) motivational and business focussed – we may mention what gorgeous heels you are wearing but then its straight back to business. Because we know that’s what matters to you.
Every month we will introduce you to business women you can expect to meet at the BWN. If you would like to be highlighted so that at the next networking event, people have a ton of questions, ideas, synergies and opportunities for you, get in touch.
“Hi My name is Sue Cook I work with spectrum disorders treating dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, dyscalculia, Aspergers and some autism and mutism.I am pretty much the only person in the uk using these brain rewiring techniques, though there are a handful of neurodevelopmentalists in the country.
Children who are struggling at school or have been diagnosed with one of mentioned conditions, often do very well on my programme which rebuilds nerve pathways in the brain and corrects the source of the problem rather than treating symptoms.
The brain learns through physical movement, and so the techniques I use involve movements that are specifically targeted to create or mend specific nerve pathways with astonishing accuracy.
It’s like scalpel free brain surgery.
This is possible because the brain is plastic, that means, it can be changed/affected by stimuli.
Nerve growth factors are released when new movements are happening in the body. For example, when we are learning to drive, at first it is difficult as we learn, this is when new nerve pathways are being created. When the movements have become automatic that is when the nerve pathways have become hard wired.
This same principle is used to help a child learn to read; there are sensory/nerve problems which are preventing correct interpretation of visual and sensory stimuli. So we correct it. Simple.
When my son was diagnosed with dyslexia, I was told there was nothing we could do and we had to learn to live with it. I refused to believe this. And i was determined to help my son.
I found a woman in Oregon who is probably the world’s authority on neurodevelopment and she agreed to train me to help my son because I already had a health science degree and an interest in the brain.
I helped my son and news travelled fast, other parents who saw my son’s progress began telling their friends. My phone started to ring and i built an accidental practice. Now four years later I treat patients all over the world, I am a regular guest on the radio and I speak at conferences. Also I have added to the world of neurodevelopment by coming up with my own theories in neuroscience and neurodevelopment which the head of my old university was so impressed by, he wants me lecture at the university as well as research my ideas which would revolutionise the treatment of spectrum disorders.
If you know of anyone who has a child with learning difficulties please remember me as I would love to help that child work towards leading a life free from learning hinderances.
I have recently moved to kelvedon and I have a new mobile: 07730 188536
I am also a degreed classical homoeopath with 15 years in practice; my friends call me the number one people fixer.
Feel free to contact me about your health issues and I’ll do my absolute best as always to maintain your health.
I am freezing my 2011 prices for the next six weeks for Business Women’s network referrals.
My new clinic in kelvedon is in the high street and I have plenty of parking in my drive. It is very convenient.
I look forward to helping you or your family with your health or brain issues,
Sue Cook BSc. Honours Lic LCCH”
Thanks for sharing Sue, we look forward seeing you at the BWN in January.
You see an effective marketing strategy WILL deliver leads, and if you are getting quality leads then guess what that leads to?
You guessed it, more customers.
But I do appreciate it can be tricky to factor in time to market your wares as well as to make and deliver them. So what can you do to make life easier?
Before you even think of aiming to make marketing easier to manage. Do you know what works?
If you don’t know this STOP right now. You see, you need to know what is working to deliver great leads and enquiries so that you can replicate that. So first of all concentrate on researching and analysing what works.
WHEN you know this information you can then use tools such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to schedule your social media. Taking into account when your ideal clients have the time to read your offerings, comment, reply, etc.
Next look at the real world marketing that works for you. Picking up the phone, public speaking networking, meetings, etc. What have the biggest impact and concentrate on making them deliver MORE to you.
For instance networking can only be effective if you dedicate to it. Know what you want beforehand. Attend regularly to build relationships so that people want to do business with you and most importantly follow up after EVERY event.
This approach needs to be applied to all areas of marketing that you have and constantly consider this…
What are you doing so that people are automatically keeping up to date with you and your business?
How can other people support your marketing strategy?
Affiliations, discounts, special offers for loyalty etc.
A VA could be a great resource for you too. What areas of your marketing could you outsource to someone else to do?
At The BWN we have a number of great VA’s that attend our events that would happily produce your newsletter, look after your social media and pick up the phone for you. (You can check them out here – https://www.thebusinesswomansnetwork.co.uk/the-business-women-of-the-bwn/)
Unless you are a larger company with a lovely thing called a “marketing budget” this is going to come down to you and if you don’t find a way to create a marketing strategy that fits into your busy life you will always have dips and troughs of customers. Now wouldn’t it be nicer to just have that steady flow of new customers heading to your door?
(This blog came out of a number of conversations with business women this week and has sparked this blog so thank you for sharing. And it has also sparked the next BWN Business Clinic with me – to learn more.)
So the BWN website is getting an overhaul.
I personally got raked over the coals for being too good at marketing and driving too many business women to the site and it couldn’t cope. Now that is the kind of telling off I like!
But the outcome is my IT Fairy (no really we have an IT Fairy!) said that we were going over to an even more interactive site.
The Business Women on our site would be able to use it more and it would work even better for driving traffic to their websites.
It would be easier for business women to access the information they needed.
And we would be able to add a shop with great business offerings and books from our favourite speakers.
It all sounded great……BUT…..
I like many have a passion for just getting on with it. And when confronted with something new something goes in my head. It’s my Mrs Negativity. I don’t know if you have one (But I’m betting you do) mine looks a bit like Maureen Lipman off of the BT adverts. “An ology” remember. Wow I bet I’m showing my age there!
But the fact is when she pipes up the real me. The capable, effective business women me kind of shrinks a bit. As Mrs Negativity says things like “Mmmm do you remember that time at Dads house when you broke the TV, best you leave that well alone don’t you think for the clever folk.” Then she whines “Still you are not bad at cooking, stick to that dear and leave the grown up stuff to someone cleverer. There’s no shame in being a good housewife love. Everyone needs clean floors.” Okay so there is nothing wrong with being a full time homemaker. I loved that time in my life. But the way Mrs Negativity says it she makes me feel about 5 again.
So why do we let this happen?
I know the quickest way to shut her up is to prove her wrong. And here is the thing. The minute you take action things get easier. Okay so you might make a mistake but with most things in life, that can be fixed and you can learn in the process.
The problem is the longer you hold off, you allow your Mrs Negativity to attack your success and your momentum. The less powerful you are and the stronger you make your Mrs Negativity.
Learning new things is so often an area that we procrastinate on. We hold fire. We “Wait and See” But how beneficial is that for your success?
What impact is that going to have on your business and your life?
In business there will always be a latest gadget, tool, idea that you are going to need to get your head round and you have 2 choices. 1) rise to the challengae and learn something new to grow your business and your success or 2) allow it to be an obstacle to your success.
Now who wants to put obstacles in the way of their success?
Mmmm so here I sit with a brand new layout to blog with, a new style website to up date, to interact with business women and slightly nervous as to how posting this blog will go. But Mrs Negativity (Sorry Maureen Lipman but it will always be your face I see) is firmly shut up. Oh yes I’m sure as I press a wrong key she will be there to say “told you so” but I will be ready “With don’t worry love, I have plenty of experiences of getting it right so it’s only a matter of time!” And as I say that confidently like the successful business woman I am, in my mind I am sticking my tongue out at her (Well everyone that knows me knows I’m very young and fun at heart – yes just a big kid really!)
Every time this week something new comes along. Don’t say “mmmm That looks interesting – I will look into it” Give it go. Get stuck in. And I would love to know how you get on. At the BWN there are always new things to learn, if you don’t see something you like, let us know and we will get that subject added.
I suppose if someone had asked me a few months ago, what networking does for your business I would have listed the obvious;
I would have said it connects me with my ideal clients, it finds me solutions to my business, it basically ensures that I have what I need to succeed in business through a vast network of contacts and business associates.
I know that for some it still proves to be a struggle to make networking effective (ie, it helps you sustain and grow your business.) and the problem for many is they tackle networking in the wrong way.
It is about getting to know other people. For years sales and marketing gurus have been talking about getting to know, like and trust people and this is imperative in every format of your marketing strategy that truly ensure that this is being allowed to happen. So networking is not your opportunity to run around a room selling at people, it is about the basic essential knowledge that every sales person needs to know and that you are probably already aware of that people buy from people. I know it is often banded around, but stop for a moment and think about this statement.
The last time you were networking (and here you can now add social networking too) what was your approach? Was it how can I help you? Was it “here are some free connections/ideas/solutions for you and your business? Or was it top heavy with we are brilliant, and we do this and we do that?
From day one of a networking relationship it needs to be about the other person and their business needs. Think about this, if you are seriously doing this, then in every situation everyone would be doing their best for everyone else and thus everyone would get the results they were looking for. Great right?
But a word of caution.
It is an investment of your time and your money, as with any area of your marketing strategy so invest wisely. Test and measure the impact of your networking. Do you need to network in more than one place? With a different group of people? Or do you need to reconsider your networking style?
So you know what networking can do for your business success right, but here is a thought from someone who is considered a super connector. (Not my words I hasten to add)
I have always gone out of my way at every opportunity to answer the question for you “What can I do to help you?” in doing this I know that I am now considered a valuable person to network with and know, which means that when someone is ready to buy the first person they will think of is me. Remember you cannot dictate when someone is ready to buy however you can determine who they remember first when they are ready to buy. But just as importantly I recently learnt another power that networking has.
After experiencing a year of continual illness I’m glad I have a powerful marketing strategy because something that was not listed on my marketing production line (ask me about it sometime) was other people networking.
You see despite being unable to “get out there” my business didn’t suffer, new customers continued to contact me and business has steadily continued to grow. Because?
Because I have been a tireless campaigner for other people’s business success guess what happened when the chips were down and I needed help?
You guessed it.
I was inundated with offers of help and support.
So effective networking will not only provide you with contacts, potential customers and the answers to your business success. It also becomes a powerful ally to your marketing strategy.
So today ask yourself is your networking powering your success?
If not what do you need to do?
And if I can help feel free to give me a call – 07989935556 or see you at an Essex BWN event soon.
Best wishes and Happy Business
This week 1 business woman told me that I helped her get her biggest contract of 2011, another I got on ITN news and another told me where she was close to quitting she now has 3 employees – knowing me is dangerous!