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?

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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 |
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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.

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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 |
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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 |
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Group Leaders Growing Pains



Belonging to a group is something most of us like yet some groups get a bad press. Is it really well earned PR? This post is about how Networking Groups never get a second chance to make a first impression, two examples of why it’s so important to follow up effectively and how feedback is “the breakfast of improvement”.

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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 |
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How do networkers unwrap the best networks?



I get asked this all the time and much like “What are the best modern ways of marketing?” there’s never an easy answer.

I was given recently given a book by John Brandler whom I met at a “hidden networking” event that my “competitors” never attend. They’re the best for me.

John is an art consultant and we had both, independently, decided to dip our toes into a network that was off the beaten track. The book is a great guide to fusing new & old techniques to help businesses gain new clients. This post is about why some networks remain hidden, connecting with the gems and how what you are “known for” can help you meet the right people.

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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, Lead Generation for accountants, Lead generation for solicitors, Marketing, Marketing for accountants, Marketing for solicitors, Professional Networking, Women's networking |
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