Networking Critics Miss the Point



Networking has been getting a lot of bad press recently, with plenty of people slagging it off. Perhaps this is due to desperation, as there are many businesses out there who think that they’re after the same pounds and pennies as networking groups. Read on to find out why they say networking doesn’t work, why it’s important to maintain existing relationships AND grow new ones.

Welcome back, or if you’re new here sign up using our orange RSS button to the top right of this page. You will receive advanced business networking tips, new posts plus details of events and promotions that could help you or your network increase the number of profitable introductions.

Have you heard the latest – networking doesn’t work!

Networking critics miss the pointNetworking critics said networkers were “hanging ’round with the wrong people”. The critics should be concentrating on what they have to offer – as long as it tells us what we’ll get that is actually of benefit. They are partially right. Spending time and energy with the wrong people will get you the wrong results. Yet how are you supposed to meet the right people if you don’t network?

Networking is about motivating people to help you, because they want to. That’s not going to happen if you get involved in a group made up of people you don’t get on with, because someone else selected all the members according to their own criteria.

Meeting the right people

It’s also true that some people have no idea how to organise their network. However, well organised networking no doubt leads to measurable results. The critics think that the only way to be successful is the way they got successful – so follow them if they provide a similar product or service as you. Others just say networking doesn’t work, simply because they don’t like it. It takes some getting used to at the beginning yet successful people are waiting to meet you.

They want to meet the next LinkedIn founder or receive an excellent product or service. But only if it’s going to help them gain more success.

Be the next big thing

Meeting new people is vital but they have to be the right people. A few weeks ago a lot of people wanted to meet the Facebook founder – they may have they changed their mind? The world is continually changing and those that adapt survive. Yet adapting without measuring what’s already happened is often a waste of time.

People who pick on those that network do so for a variety of reasons, most of the time to tip them over the edge and make them join their merry band. This would be a shame if networkers had spent time meeting people and building relationships they then left fallow. What’s even worse is if networking groups tell networkers that it’s their own fault it didn’t work for them. Rather than telling them how to make it work.

That’s just not on. But it happens. Perhaps that’s what the critics meant?

Wrap up: You probably already have a network and those people are more likely to help you than strangers. Yet it’s not wise to just stop talking to people who take an interest in you, and could potentially help you grow your business. That’s what some “experts” recommend. And they’re always right. Aren’t they, George Osborne?

Top Tip; Click Here (on the left of this page) to complete your networking audit and be instantly signposted to resources to help improve your networking results and take advantage of opportunities.

Who to share this with: Networking critics, anyone who is not getting the results they deserve from their networking efforts.

Links: Check out our “Highly Recommend” Directors Briefing or our Partners Briefing events.

Posted in Business Networking, Business Networking Events, Business Networking Events, Business Networking Groups, Business Networking Groups, Business networking london, Business Networking Results, Business Networking Strategy, Business Networking Tips, Business Networking Tips, Business Networking Training, Business Networking Training, Business Networking Workshops, Ladies network, Ladies networking, Lead Generation for accountants, Lead generation for solicitors, Marketing, Marketing for accountants, Marketing for solicitors, Networking group leaders, Professional Networking, Uncategorized, Women's networking, Women's networking events |
Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Networkers Resent Schoolmarm Tactics



The leader of a branded networking membership group proudly announces that his is the biggest networking group in London. This post is about why the size of a networking group is not always an accurate indication of it’s success or quality, why bureaucracy is a turn off and how networkers can rise above it.

Welcome back, or if you’re new here sign up using our orange RSS button to the top right of this page. You will receive advanced business networking tips, new posts plus details of events and promotions that could help you or your network increase the number of profitable introductions.

A willing informer…

I’m sitting in a networking meeting – the brand of which, and time of day are unimportant. A visitor to the group takes the seat next to mine. He whispers; “I used to be in the biggest group in London” and tells me he’s looking for a new group.  I was educated that turnover is vanity and profit is sanity. So I’m always interested in a groups results rather than it’s size. 

History repeating itself?

Networkers resent schoolmarm tactics

Curious to know why he left such a large group, I decide to ask him. He didn’t hesitate to tell me that his previous networking group “got really bureaucratic and people felt they were being treated like kids”.

Coincidently, at that very moment there’s an announcement by the leadership team that they aren’t happy with absenteeism in the group, and plan to penalise those that didn’t have a reasonable reason for not showing up in future. The guy next to me groans. As do I.

In or out? Or put yourself about?

So what do we do? Leave or not join the group? Probably not wise if you have built relationships with great people. That is where the hidden profits are.

I decided to act as if the bureaucratic announcement hadn’t happened (much like the recession) and continue to contribute to all the members success. That way, I can protect all the relationships I have built. It’s good for me, and it’s good for the group. And if our group continues to attract attention becuase of it’s results the cream will rise to the top.

Wrap up: If a group leaders asks me why visitors are not joining I’ll be happy to explain the main reason why their time and effort spent trying to recruit new members is going to waste. The same applies in online groups.

Top tip: Try not to focus on the negative elements of networking groups, try to contribute to the success of the group. Protect and nurture all the relationships you have built, which is not only good for you, but it makes the group more enjoyable to be a part of. Check out our free downloads section for 5 top tips when considering networking groups.

Who to share this with: Networking Group participants, Networking Group Owners, and  groups looking for new members.

Links: Check out our “Highly Recommend” Directors Briefing or our Partners Briefing events.

Coming soon: from Beyond Networking: The Networking Economist – Special Report

 

Posted in Business Networking, Business Networking Events, Business Networking Events, Business Networking Groups, Business Networking Groups, Business networking london, Business Networking Results, Business Networking Strategy, Business Networking Tips, Business Networking Tips, Business Networking Training, Business Networking Training, Business Networking Workshops, Ladies network, Ladies networking, Lead generation for solicitors, Marketing for accountants, Networking group leaders, Professional Networking, Women's networking, Women's networking events |
Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Business Networking – The Only Way is Ethics



What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But what happens on Twitter stays on Google forever. I was recently reminded by a fellow blogger “We’re all publishers now”. This post is about considering the ethical perspective of those who are actually reading your output, is it OK to break a few eggs and why are ethics so important?

Welcome back, or if you’re new here sign up using our orange RSS button to the top right of this page. You will receive advanced business networking tips, new posts plus details of events and promotions that could help you or your network increase the number of profitable introductions.

Your online output

Sometimes it might feel like our missives enter a vacuum. But many people are reading your content and what you write, without actually interacting. I know I read a lot more online than I actually comment on. Do you?

The sort of things that turned me off are discussions that turned into arguments, invites to “networking events” that turned into sales pitches and people who were OK in the flesh and turned nasty in other forums.

Breaking eggs

If people don’t like anything you put out there, they’re not always going to tell you, but they will reference it when someone they know asks what they think of you. Very few people can satisfy all of the people all of the time. Yet even Murdoch won over some of his detractors with his personality during recent hearings.

The same applies when employers are asked to give references. They are only compelled to confirm that an individual worked for them between certain dates which leaves a big hole for our imagination to fill. If you really have to “break a few eggs” (avoid if at all possible) whilst trying to get a job done you still want people to talk about the smashing omelette that left them satisfied.

The crowbar faux pas

One faux pas I observed recently was in a networking group. A new member tried to crowbar their friend into a request for assistance. I’m sure they don’t realise they damaged their reputation when their friend made direct contact with an unsuspecting and busy MD. This could have been avoided if they had made a positive impact in other areas. They didn’t. It was a smash and grab.

The unsaid is the gap that networking offline and online can fill. Murdoch has taken advantage of his right to reply yet he didn’t have many advocates which left me wondering, why is that if he’s as personable as he made out? If someone simply didn’t get on with you it’s extremely beneficial to have clients and colleagues paint a more complete picture of your ethical perspective.

Wrap up: The only way IS ethics. We might not like or buy into the current crop of “reality” TV shows but they do highlight faux pas that happen in real life (ignore the Geography). People from Essex I know are great and extremely Ethical!

Top tip: Always ask someone in a group about the etiquette before you dive in. When people are talking about you ensure there is no doubt about just how ethical you are in business. It is a differentiator that opens doors.

Who to share this with: Groups looking for new members or online forums where arguments often break out.

Links: Check out our “Highly Recommend” Directors Briefing or our Partners Briefing events.

Further Reading: What are you doing to your brand on LinkedIn

Posted in Business Networking, Business Networking Events, Business Networking Events, Business Networking Groups, Business Networking Groups, Business networking london, Business Networking Results, Business Networking Strategy, Business Networking Tips, Business Networking Tips, Business Networking Training, Business Networking Training, Business Networking Workshops, Ladies network, Ladies networking, Lead Generation for accountants, Lead generation for solicitors, Marketing, Marketing for accountants, Marketing for solicitors, Networking group leaders, Professional Networking, Uncategorized, Women's networking, Women's networking events |
Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Connections make LinkedIn hard work



Linkedin profiles can do a lot of work for you. This post is about how LinkedIn can help you differentiate yourself, get that all important face to face meeting, and go on to seal the deal.

Welcome back, or if you’re new here sign up using our orange RSS button to the top right of this page. You will receive advanced business networking tips, new posts plus details of events and promotions that could help you or your network increase the number of profitable introductions.

Starting out…

Recently I’ve been shadowed by a student in his penultimate year at university. James is a really intelligent young Gentleman and a credit to his parents. It has been a real pleasure and it all started when James sent me his CV and grabbed my attention in seconds.

We have been meeting professionals and researching what they’re looking for in candidates applying for training contracts. Both James and I are grateful for the time afforded to us by eminent professionals who were so willing to advise and make connections for us. The confidence boost James received has been quite something.

Wall flowers finish last

The overwhelming opinion has been differentiation is key. It’s great to have 22 applicants with loads of qualifications highly relevant to the profession. Yet with so many candidates it can be difficult to separate the chaff from the wheat.

So how do you differentiate yourself enough to show your skills, but without blowing your own trumpet?

Articulating your strengths

LinkedIn profiles give you the opportunity to highlight your strengths. It will build trust if you mention your weaknesses and how you seek to reduce them. The first 6 seconds of reading your CV are the most important. This article highlights which parts of a CV are read.

If you are going to ask for introductions on LinkedIn then you need to ensure that your profile is working hard for you. There is nothing worse than forwarding a profile for a connection and then having to explain why the connection makes sense. Especially if the request to forward is bland and doesn’t highlight why they are different.

Wrap up: Think of the LinkedIn profile as your CV and your message of introduction as a covering letter. Would you read your CV after receiving your covering letter?

Top tip: Make your profile work hard for you rather than asking others to do the hard work. Highlight the benefits that your personal brand offers. Share a contact’s profile with someone you think they have synergy. Can you make an Oscar Winning introduction for them?

Who to share this with: LinkedIn connections that receive bland introduction requests.

Links: Check out our Directors Briefing and our Partners Briefing networking events

Posted in Business Networking, Business Networking Events, Business Networking Events, Business Networking Groups, Business Networking Groups, Business networking london, Business Networking Results, Business Networking Strategy, Business Networking Tips, Business Networking Tips, Business Networking Training, Business Networking Training, Business Networking Workshops, Ladies network, Ladies networking, Lead Generation for accountants, Lead generation for solicitors, Marketing, Marketing for accountants, Marketing for solicitors, Networking group leaders, Professional Networking, Women's networking, Women's networking events |
Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are LinkedIn connections scared to meet you halfway?



LinkedIn is great isn’t it? I get invites to connect every day.  Some actually have a personalised note, which is a light touch. This post is about LinkedIn connections, follow up and next steps. It’s a fact that some people do these things well. Others not so well.

Welcome back, or if you’re new here sign up using our orange RSS button to the top right of this page. You will receive advanced business networking tips, new posts plus details of events and promotions that could help you or your network increase the number of profitable introductions.

Let’s connect……we can help each other!

I receive a LinkedIn invitation to connect from someone I don’t know. Such messages are not often that revealing. This message was actually personalised. Extra points. It explained we could help each other and encouraged me to look at their profile.

I duly took a peek and could see where the synergy lay. It seemed we both helped business owners in London and I was intrigued by the summary I found. I replied with my phone number and looked forward to the call.

Ping pong doesn’t mean ding dong

A quick voicemail rally followed and a conversation got underway. It started so well – ”I have loads of ways I can help you, I love what you’re doing”. Platitudes are something we hear everyday yet this guy wasn’t trying to sell me something, right? Wrong.

I asked how we were going to help each other and discovered my “beau” wanted to sell me a service that would, one day, provide me with a better business. So the way we would help each other is I would pay and he would play, one day I would get something. Mmmmm.

Next steps, treading carefully is better than not treading at all

I asked, purely out of curiosity, what the next step would be if I was interested. “I’m too busy to meet you. Come to my office, I’ll put the kettle on”, came the reply. It reminded me of a comment in a LinkedIn discussion that stated “people that get their business purely by networking are lazy!” This irked me at the time yet this might have been his overall experience played out in my World.

Realising that mutual help meant I would have to go to someone else’s office, listen to their pitch, pay them money and wait for a return I politely declined. But I do wonder how many people waste their time doing this? I meet people committed to business who are making things happen. Which means I get to spend less time with people whose get up and go has got up and left. Networking works better when you get out there.

Wrap up: There are many ways to provide benefits to others. The word mutual only applies when both people know what they’re getting. Ensure your profile is congruent with what you are actually offering to attract the right connections.

Top tip: Some people who ask you to “connect” may be following a LinkedIn guidebook. Check out their profile before rushing to delete their request. Try sending a few personalised invitations rather than a batch of lonely requests to connect.

Who to share this with: LinkedIn users who wonder what to do with requests to connect.

Further reading: What are you doing to your brand on LinkedIn?

 

 

Posted in Business Networking, Business Networking Groups, Business networking london, Business Networking Results, Business Networking Strategy, Business Networking Tips, Business Networking Tips, Business Networking Training, Business Networking Training, Business Networking Workshops, Ladies network, Ladies networking, Lead Generation for accountants, Marketing, Marketing for accountants, Marketing for solicitors, Networking group leaders, Professional Networking, Women's networking, Women's networking events |
Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment