Want better results from your networking? Want better results from your networking?

Want better results from your networking?
13 Dec 2017

If you’ve ever wondered how to get the most from professional networking, I’m going to share with you my three breakthrough tips. These tips will ensure that you meet hundreds of new people and substantially grow your network of professional contacts so that you’ll never need worry again about where new business prospects will come from.

• First identify a local networking group attended by your target audience - you don’t need to do too much in the way of research, simply ensure that the group attracts business people.
• Attend every one of the networking group’s meetings, making sure that you work your way around the room, talking briefly (no longer than two or three minutes) with each member. Don’t waste too much time finding out about what these professionals do, simply hand over your business card, tell them what you do and ask if they would be interested in meeting with you later that week.
• Now, the important step is to really leverage your professional networking capability. Join at least three more networking groups and replicate the first two points above.

You just have to join lots of networking groups, get around as many of them as possible and when you’re there, ensure that you get to talk with everyone in the room and tell them what you do.

By now, I’m hoping that you’ve rumbled me and realised that what I’m suggesting is utter nonsense. But I’m going to point a finger at you, metaphorically speaking, and suggest that many of the people in your firm are probably already using the approach above in your firm today.

“Me, really? Steve you’ve lost the plot, what on earth would possess me to behave in such a way? I’m not stupid, I know that’s not how you get new business, besides, even if I thought for one moment - which I don’t by the way - that this was a worthy approach, where would I find the time?”

Really? Ok, please humour me for a moment. Are you, at this moment on LinkedIn? Yes, of course you are, because you’re reading this post. How many social media sites are you on? Are you on Twitter (more than one account)? Facebook? Instagram? Google+? YouTube?

Are you trying to manage more than two or three social media accounts, telling followers of each about your products and services and rarely having a moment to thank any of these followers when they retweet your content or leave a comment on your post or invite you to connect? Are you rushing into the room, throwing your business cards at a crowd of people and expecting to gain new business?

Perhaps there is a better way

Now that I’ve been rumbled, let’s consider what I’d be advising if I was starting this article all over again.

• Locate a networking group/social media site where your target audience hang out. If your ideal audience is not there, then don’t waste your time, move on.
• Once you’ve joined the group/social media site, make sure you engage with those you’ve chosen to follow or connect with and any relevant contacts who follow or connect with you. Devote what time you have available to nurturing relationships with these contacts.
• Do not be tempted to sign up to more networking groups or social media sites than you can truly devote time to and be really effective in.

Over the years, I’ve witnessed many people attending networking events without any real plan. Rushing to the event, usually straight from work, you arrive in the room breathless and immediately begin conversing with the most welcoming group of people you spy across the room.

Invariably, these people are unknown to you, with the exception of an occasional familiar face. Unless you’ve asked the question first, then it’s likely that someone in the group will ask what you do and you will then proceed to tell them. Eventually out of politeness you will ask them the same question but with little or no interest, unless of course you hear that they are your ideal target audience.

Social media platforms are still relatively new tools in the world of networking and yet many professionals are applying the same lack of planning and execution online as they have done for years when they go physically networking. Worse still, they are replicating this approach across multiple networking rooms, commonly known as social media sites and wondering why they aren’t getting the results they want.

There is probably an amount of truth in the saying that if you throw enough mud at the wall, then eventually some of it will stick. However, when it comes to using social media in business you’re going to require a heck of a lot of mud to get any new potential client to stick. A great craftsperson takes time to create something of intrinsic value. In doing so, the result is often spectacular and worth significantly more than a massed produced copy.

My advice to you is become a craftsperson. Choose your tools carefully, know the outcome you want to achieve.

Take time to craft a new connection or follower and through regular, value driven conversation nurture the relationship until it becomes the masterpiece you want.

 

Steve Phillip is managing director of Linked2Success Limited. Since 2009, he has helped hundreds of professionals around the UK and in Europe, such as FedEx, The EDHEC Business School and many universities and professional service businesses to raise their online profiles and generate hundreds of new client opportunities, using tools such as LinkedIn and other social media.

If you’ve ever wondered how to get the most from professional networking, I’m going to share with you my three breakthrough tips. These tips will ensure that you meet hundreds of new people and substantially grow your network of professional contacts so that you’ll never need worry again about where new business prospects will come from.

• First identify a local networking group attended by your target audience - you don’t need to do too much in the way of research, simply ensure that the group attracts business people.
• Attend every one of the networking group’s meetings, making sure that you work your way around the room, talking briefly (no longer than two or three minutes) with each member. Don’t waste too much time finding out about what these professionals do, simply hand over your business card, tell them what you do and ask if they would be interested in meeting with you later that week.
• Now, the important step is to really leverage your professional networking capability. Join at least three more networking groups and replicate the first two points above.

You just have to join lots of networking groups, get around as many of them as possible and when you’re there, ensure that you get to talk with everyone in the room and tell them what you do.

By now, I’m hoping that you’ve rumbled me and realised that what I’m suggesting is utter nonsense. But I’m going to point a finger at you, metaphorically speaking, and suggest that many of the people in your firm are probably already using the approach above in your firm today.

“Me, really? Steve you’ve lost the plot, what on earth would possess me to behave in such a way? I’m not stupid, I know that’s not how you get new business, besides, even if I thought for one moment - which I don’t by the way - that this was a worthy approach, where would I find the time?”

Really? Ok, please humour me for a moment. Are you, at this moment on LinkedIn? Yes, of course you are, because you’re reading this post. How many social media sites are you on? Are you on Twitter (more than one account)? Facebook? Instagram? Google+? YouTube?

Are you trying to manage more than two or three social media accounts, telling followers of each about your products and services and rarely having a moment to thank any of these followers when they retweet your content or leave a comment on your post or invite you to connect? Are you rushing into the room, throwing your business cards at a crowd of people and expecting to gain new business?

Perhaps there is a better way

Now that I’ve been rumbled, let’s consider what I’d be advising if I was starting this article all over again.

• Locate a networking group/social media site where your target audience hang out. If your ideal audience is not there, then don’t waste your time, move on.
• Once you’ve joined the group/social media site, make sure you engage with those you’ve chosen to follow or connect with and any relevant contacts who follow or connect with you. Devote what time you have available to nurturing relationships with these contacts.
• Do not be tempted to sign up to more networking groups or social media sites than you can truly devote time to and be really effective in.

Over the years, I’ve witnessed many people attending networking events without any real plan. Rushing to the event, usually straight from work, you arrive in the room breathless and immediately begin conversing with the most welcoming group of people you spy across the room.

Invariably, these people are unknown to you, with the exception of an occasional familiar face. Unless you’ve asked the question first, then it’s likely that someone in the group will ask what you do and you will then proceed to tell them. Eventually out of politeness you will ask them the same question but with little or no interest, unless of course you hear that they are your ideal target audience.

Social media platforms are still relatively new tools in the world of networking and yet many professionals are applying the same lack of planning and execution online as they have done for years when they go physically networking. Worse still, they are replicating this approach across multiple networking rooms, commonly known as social media sites and wondering why they aren’t getting the results they want.

There is probably an amount of truth in the saying that if you throw enough mud at the wall, then eventually some of it will stick. However, when it comes to using social media in business you’re going to require a heck of a lot of mud to get any new potential client to stick. A great craftsperson takes time to create something of intrinsic value. In doing so, the result is often spectacular and worth significantly more than a massed produced copy.

My advice to you is become a craftsperson. Choose your tools carefully, know the outcome you want to achieve.

Take time to craft a new connection or follower and through regular, value driven conversation nurture the relationship until it becomes the masterpiece you want.

 

Steve Phillip is managing director of Linked2Success Limited. Since 2009, he has helped hundreds of professionals around the UK and in Europe, such as FedEx, The EDHEC Business School and many universities and professional service businesses to raise their online profiles and generate hundreds of new client opportunities, using tools such as LinkedIn and other social media.