What makes a great networker? 16 July 2007Posted by Catriona Pollard in networking.
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1. Most people have absolutely no idea what networking really means. They attend events thinking it is about them – which is totally not true. A good networking knows that networking and building relationships is about taking the time to find out about others and from there working out if there is any synergy, or how their service or products could help that person with meeting their business or personal goals.
2. Great networkers follow up those they meet. If you tell people you are going to call, do it. There may be some months where you are so busy extra business is not a priority so, if this is the case when you meet people, simply say “It was great to meet you. I would like to find out more about your business so let’s catch up at the next month’s networking event”. It’ about having manners.
3. Switch on networkers don’t attend events based on who’s guest speaking they know it’s all about who else is in the room. Anyway, from even the worst speaker, if you can’t gain one tip to take home and implement you need to either re-evaluate how you are judging others or start listening with a more open frame of mind.
4. The savvy networker is never prejudice against those in the room based on their own agenda. A good example of this would be a corporate attending a networking event where on the surface all attendees appear to be from the small or home-based business sector. They feel they have nothing in common and, worse still, the people in the room are of no use to their business agenda. They are completely missing the fact that every attendee in the room has at least 300 networking contacts many of which are exactly the people the corporate is seeking introductions to.
The facts are that not everyone can see the big picture of networking. If you’re not willing to put in the hard yards and build relationships, you will spend most of your time attending numerous networking events in the hope that one day what you view as a potential client will be coincidently placed at your table, hand over their credit card and say run up what you want. I can absolutely guarantee the true cost of networking to you personally goes well beyond purchasing your ticket to attend an event.
Tips from Lynette Palmen, Founder and Managing Director, Women’s Network Australia
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Many make the mistake of not networking when everything is going well for them in the business or career. Then when the wheels fall off they have no contacts or support and need to start relying on people with whom they have never bothered to build a relationship.
My suggestion is that you always belong to your industry specific network and also non-industry specific network. There are many reasons for this concept but here are just a few.
Your non-industry network will expose you to a good cross section of business people who can offer fresh ideas that can be applied to your career or business and access to future career aspirations, mentors and information.
What are your tips on how to get the most out of a network event? Ie don’t stand in the corner, get your elevator speech ready etc.
Always arrive on time. This way you can introduce yourself to organisers and get a feel for the event, the format and have a quick look at the guest name tags to see if any of your contacts are attending.
Always have business cards on you but use your cards with respect. If attending a networking event for the first time act as a facilitator do not let it show that you feel like a fish out of water.
Do not take someone with you for support as you will inevitably use the event as a catch up – convincing yourself afterwards that the event was a good networking exercise as it gave you the opportunity to catch up with your colleague.
The truth be know you were never going to get any networking results because guests didn’t want to interrupt the personal meeting you were so obviously engaged in. If you invite a colleague to attend with you split up during any networking period and catch up after the event for your meeting.
Tips from Lynette Palmen, Founder, Women’s Network Australia
What makes a great network? 15 May 2007Posted by Catriona Pollard in Articles, networking.
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Excellence in networking groups are developed on strong leadership. The right network for you will offer a broad range of membership services and activities which fit with both your business and personal agenda.
A network should tap you into a dynamic group of individuals who are dynamic and willing to share business expertise, concepts and ideas. The group needs to encompass both rookie and veteran business people who can blend their experiences into the mix of the group. Networking is a reciprocal process and both your strengths and weaknesses need to be utilised or addressed by any networking group to which you belong.
A network should give you a feeling of belonging in essence you are building a framework of individuals around you who are supportive of you in your business or career and you visa a versa.
Information from an interview with Lynette Palmen, Women’s Network Australia
Networking – ask the expert 7 April 2007Posted by Catriona Pollard in networking, PR tips.
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Lynette Palmen, founder of Women’s Network Australia recently answered these questions on networking for me -
Do networking events really work?
Compare the results of networking with other forms of acquiring business such as advertising, cold calling etc and you’ll soon realise that the grape vine is a gold mine.
Essentially any event can be turned into an effective networking exercise. For novice networkers the most important rule is to remember networking is not necessarily a skill you are born with.
Self-promotion does not sit well with many people. It takes practice, patience and confidence in the fact that you do have something valuable to contribute.
What is the role of networking for a SME?
SME’s are often working with limited budget constraints. It is no secret that networking is one of the most cost effective ways to increasing profile and acquiring new business. Building your professional networking contacts is not about attending a few events and flicking your business card around.
It takes time and effort and it will take a good two years to start seeing measurable results consistently flowing into your business. Networking is not an overnight wonder it only works if you position yourself well, create a profile and repeat the exercise.
If you take all three concepts on board two years down the track you will enjoy the benefits of 80% of all new business being generated through your first, second and third level generation networking contacts and their referrals.
Lynette will be running a 2007 MASTERCLASS on Self-Promotion and Networking. Covering how to turn your networks into your personal ladder for business success and making the right connections and creating Win | Win relationships. When: Wednesday 18 April 2007, Where: The Vibe Hotel, 111 Goulburn Street, Sydney, Time: 9:30am – 2:30pm, Ticket Price:WNA Member $149, Visitor $199, Book