Friday, March 30, 2007
As Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit."
Thursday, March 29, 2007
1. How many qualified referrals do you need every month
2. How many advocates do you need to generate those referrals
3. How many relationships do you need to have in progress to grow those advocates
4. How many people do you need to meet 121 to start & progress those relationships
5. How many people do you need to connect with to get those 121 meetings
6. How many groups do you need to belong to in order to get those 121s arranged
7. Which groups do you need to attend to decide which ones to join
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I met an accountant a couple of weeks ago and he asked me if we imposed such a limit at NRG. I said no and asked him where he got most referrals. He thought for a minute and answered, "Other accountants!"
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
He then schedules meetings from morning until evening and has seen an immediate benefit in his networking results. Make sure you find a way to make time for developing those all important business relationships.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Shy professionals also tend to reflect on what people tell them. This ability to remember what others say and value is critical to fostering good relationships.
Friday, March 23, 2007
"I develop a network of individuals that I can trust. I help and support those people, and expect the same in return."
Thursday, March 22, 2007
We spoke beforehand when Nigel shared some advice on PR in building your brand. Coincidentally we had a piece in the local paper, the Swindon Advertiser today. See this link:
Networking lunch club is spreading net far and wide
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
If you concentrate on synergies then the value of your network will be greater than the sum of its parts. Each connection will give you new insights and facilitate new opportunities.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
For example I was talking with a member of NRG in London last week about the importance of building trusted relationships and how that can take time. He said that's so true and described how, almost imperceptibly, over the course of six or seven months he had built a pipeline of new business worth about £250,000.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
- do I like them?
- are there points of contact (business or personal)?
- do I find them interesting?
- do I want to take this further (based on your initial conversation)
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Listening is key to understanding, and is an important skill to be effective at business networking. Most of the time it's tempting to try and jump in and not really listen. Next time you meet someone on a 121 basis try and give them "a really good listening to" without constantly trying to think of something to say. That's a great phrase I first heard from Nick Heap. Nick's website >>> has some great practical resources.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
This can pose a problem in business networking. The network is your route to market so you need to have a strategy for sharing your expertise with someone unlikely to be your customer so that they get some experience of what you do.
You might do this in 121 sessions, public speaking, a 'free' consultation, a report, a blog or other ways appropriate for what you do.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Rule 1. Don’t network to network. Define your purpose. For instance, your purpose may be to find contacts who can open doors for you, to find people for whom you can open doors (you are less likely to get the former without doing the latter), and to hear the gossip on the grapevine.
Rule 2. Build your network before you need it. People can tell the difference between desperation and an earnest attempt to create a relationship.
Rule 3. Never eat alone. If you’re in a strange city, look up someone on our website who you’d like to meet and have lunch with them.
Rule 4. Ask for what you want. People might say yes!
Rule 5. Don’t keep a tally, so open doors for other people generously, time and again, without counting the score. What goes round, comes round.
Rule 6. Be there!
Friday, March 9, 2007
I like this presentation tip acronym which originally appeared in "The MediaCoach", a free ezine produced by Alan Stevens, and available at www.mediacoach.co.uk:
A - Audience. The first thing you should consider. Who are they? What are they interested in? What will move them to take action?
M - Message. Your key theme, which should be brief, simple and relevant. Keep this in mind throughout your speech.
O - Opening. The first 15 seconds are crucial. Don't waste your time on pleasantries, get right to your message.
R - Recap. Hey! What happened to my speech? Well, that's the easy part. It's important that whatever you said, you provide a summary to reinforce your message.
E - Ending. The killer closing line that will hammer home your message and bring you a standing ovation.
With apologies to Dino, That's Amore. (Geddit?)
Thursday, March 8, 2007
I'm always amazed when someone says "The CEO/MD of a business employing at least 50 people as they are the sort of customers I deal with". CEO's of those businesses network with other CEO's. Networking is not selling and your aim should be to find networks where the attendees also supply your target market or where your best introducers are. Concentrate first on relationship building and your leads follow.
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Make sure you put enough time in the diary to follow up. Especially those you have promised something to. It's the beginning of that all important process of building a relationship.
Monday, March 5, 2007
I usually use the person's card so it's really annoying to receive a plastic card, or a CD, or a card that's so full there is no space to write.
Saturday, March 3, 2007
Many people think that making contact with new people is what networking is all about. Not true! Following up is the most important part of networking - otherwise why make new contacts?
When you first meet someone you make a judgement about whether you like them. As the relationship progresses, you make further judgements about their ability and reliability. NRG research has shown developing trust is the key to reducing risk in relationships.
The most effective way of building relationships is by having a face-to-face, or 1-2-1, meeting. Here is a simple, pragmatic list when choosing who to arrange follow-up meetings with:
- Do I like them?
- Are they interesting?
- Are there points of contact?
The objectives of having a 1-2-1 meeting are to:
- Confirm you like them;
- Build rapport;
- Research their business;
- Appraise skill level, experience, qualifications and ability;
- Establish if continuing to developing the relationship further is a good use of your time.
Here are some questions you might ask that will give you a great understanding of the other person:
- Why did you choose your present role?
- What is your expertise?
- How do you know you did a good job?
- What is your biggest project currently?
- What contacts are looking for?
- How can I help you? (make sure you mean this!)
Note they are all open questions and geared to understand what makes them tick. People enjoy talking about themselves and these questions are designed to get people talking passionately about what they do, and about their successes.
If there is a key objective for networking, it should be for you to try and make connections and introductions for the other person. This should be your top networking objective.
If you agree to do something as a result of this meeting, make sure you do it in the time you agreed. It's all about building trust.
Finally, find something you can do to add value to your network that demonstrates your value and expertise. This may be as simple as a regular telephone call or email sending them a relevant article. You may wish to develop the relationship further and offer to help them (to demonstrate your expertise) or even work together on a joint project.
The key to developing relationships is to follow up!
Thursday, March 1, 2007
The speaker for this week's event in Birmingham had to cancel unexpectedly. Fortunately NRG member Martin Firman was prepared to step in at the last minute. Always be ready for the opportunity to share your skills with an audience. It also happened to me at a breakfast a few weeks ago when the speaker for the education slot didn't show, and I was given the slot.