08-Feb-2011 23:41

Are you really doing enough?

The myriad online social media tools, 'sites and forums currently available to individuals and businesses to publicise their specific products or services are surprisingly helpful.

The plethora of links including LinkedIn, Ecademy, Facebook, Twitter et al are really useful tools of promotion, advice and collaboration when used correctly…

However, the successful business person instinctively understands that, even (or perhaps increasingly) in 2011, nothing really beats face-to-face networking; 1-2-1's and personal connections to establish and nurture a foundation of trusted relationships that helps build that stream of clients buying whatever you may be selling.

So, however, daunting it may feel, why not try to make a commitment to step away from the computer, leave the safety of the office and really connect with others to grow your business.

My experience shows that the following couple of tips 'may' help:

1) Plan ahead - a quick whiz around your online groups and forums, events and clubs will advise you of any number of available networking events. Perhaps to begin, choose events that look interesting to you and your business. And if unsure of yourself & a touch shy, why not grab a couple of colleagues and brave that world of networking with a friendly group.

2) Coffee or lunch - Work through your, probably daily growing, lists of connections & contacts and select those that you've not met but you consider may have collaborative connections and could be decent networking partners (remember, the 'you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours' syndrome… better known as 'Givers Gain'). Invite them for a latte or lunch for a chat (and not the 'hard sell'). A few meetings soon helps build a reliable circle of connections and associates.

As with most things in life, successful business networking requires expended time and effort but increasing your personal networking & marketing reinforces your qualities with those you may meet..

So get out there and promote yourself by helping others to help you.

Good luck - Norman

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Contributed by Binh Zientek on 09-Feb-2011 11:28
Good article Norman.

Sometimes it is easy to be lost in all the online noise, and forget that we are all still dealing with people and not just technology.
Our customers are people, not technology.

Binh Zientek
Accommodation Specialist
Quality London
Tel: +44 207 476 8963
Email: - London Serviced Apartments
Contributed by Eddington Pindura on 09-Feb-2011 09:46
Great tips Norman,
I think most of us skip the planning bit of it and yet it's the most crucial piece that makes offline networking worthwhile.

This kind of activity needs to be embeded into your marketing plan, I like it as it is hreat for JV partnering. When done right, it's definitely not a useless and time consuming excercise.

Being a succesful entrepreneur takes work, and this I am afraid is part of the work. They are of course some meetings that are not worth your time, so by planning, you will be able to avoid these.

I think it's also it's important to know what you want from the meeting as it's only you and you alone who knows what works for you. What works for another doeas not neccessarily work for another, there is a lot of strategies, find those that work for you.

Eddington Pindura
Internet Marketing Coach/Mentor
Contributed by Sam Borrett on 09-Feb-2011 09:15

you can't give any better suggestions.


Sam Borrett
Executive Coach, Real Estate, Mentor, Lawyer, Entrepreneur, Facilitator,
Life Constellations
Jupiter Properties Pty. Ltd.
PO Box 241 Brunswick Heads, NSW, 2483
Contributed by Dr JOY Madden on 08-Feb-2011 23:43
Hi Norman,

True! Another advantage of face-to-face networking is that you have the chance to shake the other person's hand - a split-second action can tell you quite a lot!

See: Handshakes And The Secrets They Tell

Editor & Mentor
Contributed by Norman Feiner on 08-Feb-2011 23:42
Perhaps it depends on the nature of the business or service provided, Amanda.

Certainly a combination of both on & off-line activity is to be recommended.
The exact mix is up to the individual or business and relevant (perceived) ROI.

Thanks for commenting - N
Contributed by Amanda Vlahakis on 08-Feb-2011 23:42
I've never bothered with face to face much, and barely any 1-2-1's at all. It's so time consuming, and knowing that one must put some time into something to yield results, I always fearing looking back at six months of it going "Oh dear, that was an almighty waste of time" smile

It would have to yield better results than online networking because the time investment is that much greater.

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