Friday, 29 March 2013

Attitudes To Networking

The jury is out on all networking. Not that you should not do networking. It is an essential ingredient of any small business marketing. What is in question, is the style of some of the events.
In our area we have many networking events and many groups. Trying to differentiate between them is not easy. There are usually good things to be said about any one of them and of course the value for one small business will be different to another.
The worth of a networking group depends on the type of business you have, but also the personality of the networker. I have heard very recently people decry a particular event because there are too many one man bands there or too many start ups.
I have to say that it is obvious some people just don't get it. They will be the ones who leave the event as soon as they can as if they have something more important to do. They are the ones who try to oversell themselves. They are also the ones who expect to measure each event by the perceived outcome statistics.
There are formal events and informal events. Some have a lot of structure and some do not. Then there are morning ones and evening ones; sit down ones and stand up ones.
Ultimately the opportunity to do some business and grow your influence is the reason for doing any networking. How clinical and perhaps cynical you are about it is up to you, but I think you get more out of it in many ways by contributing and enjoying the conversations you are having.
At Bob Shepherd Associates we talk to new businesses about networking and its part in the marketing and positioning of the business. Coaching individuals in getting their presentation right , their 'elevator pitch' or their 1 minute introduction is part of the preparation for turning up at a networking event with some idea and some plan for making a success of  it.

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