Tuesday, September 28, 2010
"How do I reach the companies I want to provide with a new service?"
"How do I get people to my networking group?"
"How do I get to relevant SMEs?"
Many people think the answer is to search for new connections on social networks or find new places to meet lots of people. The problem with this is you can very quickly run out of resources including your precious time. Stretching yourself very thinly in this way probably means getting to hardly know lots of people. Not the way to generate new business.
I spoke at an event recently on the big mistake that means networking doesn't work for many people. I asked the audience whether the best business came via recommendation and they agreed. I asked if they agreed that people recommend people in business that they know, like, rate and trust. They agreed again so I also asked whether they thought a good networking event was one with people they mostly didn't know. They agreed with that too and that is very often where the problem begins. Getting to know people takes time and the vast majority of people you meet once will remain as strangers.
The best way to get to the people you don't know is not by yourself. It is through word of mouth. It is by getting to know and supporting your close network even better than you do now. Grow advocates amongst them and they will recommend you to the people you don't know yet.
Good Networking!Dave Clarke
Saturday, September 25, 2010
If you had a new puppy, how would you protect it? Would you let it play in your front yard alone? If there is a 95% chance that it would get killed within a year if you just let it do what it wants, would you let it run free?
If you met the love of your life and decided to get married, would you forget to tell them every day that you love them? Suppose research proved that 95% of people who don't tell their spouses every day that they love them have a divorce within a year? Wouldn't you take action to protect your relationship?
When your child gets big enough to play outside, would you let it play in the street if there is a 95% probability that it would get hit by a car within a year?
These are the same odds that a baby boomer entrepreneur faces, that something will hurt or kill her business within the first year, with a 95 % certainty. This is true for all entrepreneurs, from baby boomer entrepreneurs through Gen -Y. I suspect that it even applies to kids with lemonade stands, but I haven't seen the research.
What we can see in the research is staggering. In the United States alone, a business started today has a 95% probability of not surviving for twelve months. Next month 500,000 businesses started across America will produce that same result. And next month another 500,000 businesses will have the same fate...and then the next month...until six million businesses are started in the year. And every January 1st a new year starts the cycle all over again. If you knew this, wouldn't you do something different to make sure your business is among those that survive?
When you have a child, you want them to learn to walk, go to school, graduate , and eventually become a responsible adult contributing to the world. Though you have the lofty vision of their life, you first immediate goal is to keep them alive until their first birthday. As they grow, you will protect them from the new set of age appropriate set of dangers.
If we know businesses have a 95% infant mortality rate, why do we wrap our beloved new born businesses in a baby blanket, set it in a basket in the street and ignore the traffic? Would YOU do that and expect to be a successful baby boomer entrepreneur?
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010
One was talking about the need to meet lots of new people and make new connections for his new business. This is a common approach, but can make life much more difficult in building his new business. It ignores the most important asset he built during his previous business and those before it. His Network! People who know, like, rate and trust him because they have seen him in action and those he has made a real difference to.
Those are the people to focus attention on as they are already in a position to make those vital referrals and recommendations that produce the best new sales for any business, new or old.
Business may be temporary, but your Network is permanent!
Good Networking!Dave Clarke
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Niche Domination means aiming your website at only the targeted people who are interested in the specific stuff that you sell. In networking you want your network to remember the specific target market you solve problems for and the more precise you are the better.
If you need help in finding your niche then analyse who you work with today, who you enjoy working with and where the money comes from!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
As Graham writes, "this research confirms that a structured network of close ties is the most beneficial. It is evidence that quality of your network is more important than quantity."
This is more confirmation that success in networking (offline and online) comes down to building a manageable number of relationships amongst people with influence amongst the right audience. Then motivating that network to advocate you.
Graham includes some great networking tips in his article:
1. Concentrate on truly connecting with people, rather than building numbers. Focus on relationships, rather than popularity rankings.
2. Keep in regular touch with your network; don't just add occasional information - make your social network a key part of your daily activity.
3. Encourage your network participants to invite their real-life friends to join your specific group; getting people to support each other within your network appears to boost the entire network, the study finds.
4. Have structure to your network - rather than making it informal, provide leadership.
Good Networking!Dave Clarke
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Here is the reason. Word of Mouth is all about what someone who is not perceived to have an axe to grind says about someone else’s product or service. We pay more attention to positive (and negative) comments from our friends and associates about all sorts of things than what we see, read or listen to in the media.
In today’s world successful marketing is all about speeding up the person’s decision making through the value of a third party’s recommendation. They are valued because:
• They are seen as independent;
• They have experienced the product or service and are seen as knowledgeable;
• Advice they give is seen as relevant because they are thinking of that person.
Let me give you a real example which brought this mind. Last week, at one of our networking lunches, one of our members Mark asked me if he should buy a service from another member Jill. It involved quite a lot of money and time so he wanted to be convinced he was making the right decision. “I want to make the right decision and I value your thoughts” is what he said. Knowing what was important to him and having experienced first-hand Jill’s service I was able to talk about her service at the right level and explain what benefit Mark might get.
In short I was valued because I had experienced the service, was seen as independent and was offering relevant and pertinent advice.
He bought it.
The moral of this story is that nothing sells better than a supporter who knows your service well and is motivated to help. At NRG we call them advocates and they are worth their weight in gold!
For more information read the NRG Advocacy Model.Good Networking!Martin Davies