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Tips for Networking??

Discussion in 'Franchising' started by MrsBusiness, Aug 1, 2013.

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    MrsBusiness

    MrsBusiness Applicant

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    I like to think of myself as good at networking,,,, but there is always tricks that come along every once and a while that i didnt no.

    Can anyone recommend some of their personal strategys,,,,,,?

    Thank you,
    MrsBusiness
     
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    ping

    ping Senior Lab Tech

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    Be yourself.
     
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    samuel

    samuel Graduate Premium Member

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    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WC5FdFlUcl0&gl=SG&hl=en-GB]Audioslave - Be Yourself - YouTube[/ame]
     
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    MrsBusiness

    MrsBusiness Applicant

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    LOL,,,,,,, do you have any real tips??
     
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    leemason

    leemason Senior Lab Tech

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    I recently joined my local Chamber of Commerce in Kingston upon Thames and I have to say that so far I am pretty impressed. You might be good at networking but you also need to opportunities to meet the right people. I had a look an BNI but that just look too constrained and rule bound. The Chamber is much more information but still provides excellent opportunities for real networking with other business owners.
     
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    captaincloser

    captaincloser View from the Crow's nest

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    Pick up the phone ?

    Most businesses can get more clients by calling their potential clients.

    101% more effective and cost effective than networking.

    Trouble is....most just cannot sustain making disciplined targeted calls.
     
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    leemason

    leemason Senior Lab Tech

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    captaincloser: You may well be correct but from my experience working in IT for many years many people (especially people at IT manager level and higher) these days get so many cold calls every day that they simply don't listen to the callers and just simply want to put the phone down and get rid of them. I am constantly asked when installing IP phone system how cold callers can be blocked.
     
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    captaincloser

    captaincloser View from the Crow's nest

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    Anyone cold calling the IT guy or IT department hoing to make a sale is probably barking up the wrong tree.

    Cold calling is one of the old chestnuts of businessforums. None of us like being on the end of these calls if they are of no interest.

    Many small businessess (most businesses in fact) rely on some form of direct marketing to their perceived target market. The telephone is a major force in direct marketing. If it was not sucessful it would have been dumped by business 60 years ago as a marketing tool. It is now used more routinely than ever and is not going anywhere anytime soon.

    People dont like it but most live with it. If you cannot deal with a cold caller, even a series of cold callers...have your line cut.

    Entering into business means a lot of things and one of them is that you are in an arena full of others all trying to muscle their way around. Its frankly a bit of a battle on many fronts and on balance there are probably worse things to contend with than a spotty faced dimwit making you the target of their cold calling effort for 10 seconds ? We do need to get some perspective if we have chosen to open for business.
     
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    samuel

    samuel Graduate Premium Member

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    Are we talking about networking on a personal or a company level?

    For myself, the most important rule I've found when it comes to networking is to fill out the in-betweens—don't let your only moments of interaction with an important contact be when you need them for something. Here and there, try to interact with them over social media, tag them in posts you think they'll find helpful, email them potentially valuable leads if you come across any, or simply just share trivial everyday stuff that you know they'll like. Be pro-active, but not spammy—it's a difficult trick, developing the sensitivity needed to distinguish between genuine gratitude for value offered, and mere routine politesse. In simpler terms, try to be a good friend while maintaining your professionalism—the effort almost pays off eventually.
     
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    chillfire

    chillfire Trainee Lab Tech

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    1- Remember who you met and what they do
    2- Keep in contact with them, even if its just a retweet/email about something they are working on
    3- Link this new person up with someone already in your network (the more points of relevance you have on people the better chance you have to retain them)

    Most importantly - Make sure you link this new person with people who might need their skills even if you don't, the payback for linking like minded people before they actually need each other will pay back dividends (albeit in the future)

    Pass it forward!
     
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    Paul Norman

    Paul Norman Businessman

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    Follow up your contacts made. Systematically. Diligently.
     
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    AlexandraS

    AlexandraS Applicant

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    Don't go out with a view of handing out 20 cards. Just view it as going out for a chat and you'll relieve yourself of all the pressure. I never try to give out my card yet I'm always asked for mine. Let them talk - most people are in such a desperate hurry to get their story out - and then of course polite society dictates they ask you yours - give your elevator speech, allow questions and move on to the natural conversation you started.

    So what do you say? Well recently I strolled up to one girl and just asked if she was OK because she looked incredibly nervous, I bonded with someone else over entrees (we didn't like them!) and another guy I congratulated on his pitch and asked him about St. Louis which is where he went to university.

    I learned so much about these people and was able to follow up naturally within 24-48 hours with a "hi, this is Alexandra, we met yesterday at X and share a mutual hatred of prawns. Etc., etc.".

    My first rule would be to take the pressure off yourself by not trying to make a sale!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2013
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    MrsBusiness

    MrsBusiness Applicant

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    Thanks for the sound advice! :)
     
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    ISS

    ISS Son of Victor Meldrew Premium Member

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    This is sound advice.

    Sow lots of acorns. Don't look like you're hunting for business because anybody with half a brain can smell desperation from 100 yards.

    Your acorns can and WILL grow into oak trees over time, so put yourself into lots of "sowing situations."

    Be cool, calm, collected, and relaxing to be around. It works wonders.

    Regards

    Jon
     
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    DesignsOnline.co.uk

    DesignsOnline.co.uk Graduate

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    People remember you for the wrong reasons if you try to push yourself and your business.
    I prefer to listen to them, and even ask them more questions about their business and then patiently listen. They will warm to you because they like people to listen to them. That way even if you only spend 10 seconds telling them what you do, and giving them a card, their impression of you is positive and they will be more inclined to recommend you to others.
     
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    Geoff T

    Geoff T Graduate

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    Lots of people will slate proper networking - simply because either it doesn't make them a buck as fast as they want... or they're not the right people to be doing it...

    Good networking is about building relationships - pure and simple... BNI (for example) makes it formal to make it easier for those new to it to do better...

    Networking will gain you long term working relationships that will help build a long term business, but if you just want to earn a quick buck, or rip someone off for the short term - then proper networking isn't the way - and anyone suggesting it for short term gain (and thereby implying you should lie to people) is leading you in the wrong direction...

    Everyone is free to disagree with me folks - but I am also free to ignore you, as networking has saved my business, so you can think what you like... carp on...

    Unsubscribed with the thread...;)
     
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    captaincloser

    captaincloser View from the Crow's nest

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    Cool, calm and collected, and sewing acorns ? This is not you Jon. Close the window, there is a laid back squirrel hijacking your keyboard.:rolleyes:

    The squirrel does make very good points though.
     
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    ISS

    ISS Son of Victor Meldrew Premium Member

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    So maybe you should thank the squirrel biatch :)
     
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    Leadamo

    Leadamo Freshman

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    Don't try and sell. Focus on building up your relationships. Of course tell people what you do, but it takes time :)
     
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    Geoff T

    Geoff T Graduate

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    Amuses me that BNI got slated for being too formal - when it actually promotes exactly the traits later given as advice...
     

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