A Passionate Networker, is someone who truly loves meeting new people and learning new business skills. A person who is keen to get out and do business with interesting people and not sit behind a desk or their computer, will always bring more new clients into the business.
Networking has become the new ‘buzz-word’ this year. Everyone is talking about it. Bosses love it. Let’s explore this a bit more today.
- We all know that Referred Clients are the best clients, but how can we make this happen?
- How do we go about making networking, a part of our business week?
- Where do we go to learn how to network properly?
- Isn’t networking only for outgoing - extroverted people?
My Three Recommendations for Networking Each Month
- Belong to one weekly networking group that is category exclusive
- Attend an industry related business event once a month
- Attend one great business education workshop a month. This is not only for your own business education, but other really successful business people attend these events also
If you follow these 3 simple steps and follow up the people that you choose to connect with, this will give you a steady flow of quality new connections for your business so you are able to convert these to new clients.
Networking With A Plan In Mind
- Ask yourself – Who do I want to meet today?
- Take your business cards with you in a business card holder
- Take a photo on your phone camera of the business cards that you collect, so that they don’t get lost
- Put the date and venue on them, so you can remember that person
- Take a notebook, to write up notes about the event and the people that you meet
- Dress professionally, smile, be warm and genuine. A firm handshake is essential
- Don’t gossip or complain about other business people or businesses
- Follow up the people that you meet at the event the following morning and book a coffee meeting with them
- It is essential to find out more about them and their business before you meet up with them. Do your research first
- Enjoy networking and you will find that this is a great way to increase your business
- Great business connections are made this way and this will help you to grow your client base of potential new clients
Remember networking is all about connecting with one person at a time.
Attending a Networking Group – What Happens?
Most weekly networking groups follow a similar format – this is what we do at NRG
- Formal introduction of the Leadership Team and welcome of guests
- The Leader will read out the overall objectives of the group and the meeting
- Networking Tip is presented by one of the members for the week
- Each member does a 1 minute business talk about their business, explains one service or product that their business does. Nominates a good connection or business category that is their ideal referral for the week. Then our guests have their turn to do the same
- The Leader will introduce the Speaker for the week. This is normally a member of the group, a member from another group invited to speak on a particular topic. Or and outside special speaker on a topic that the Leadership Teams would like teaching on for their members
- Statistics Report is presented in a written format by the Statistics Officer of the Group.This includes:- Number of referrals passed; number of guests attended; number of coffee meetings and the amount of Closed Business passed the previous week and also for the year. There will usually be two different numbers that they will be speaking about – Weekly and Yearly business. This is mostly done via a PowerPoint Presentation and a Graph, so members can clearly see how their group is tracking against the yearly target that the group set at the beginning of the year. This I believe is very important to a successful weekly networking group.
- Referrals: This is the time of the meeting where members pass qualified referrals and connections to one another. This is normally done by filling in a slip of paper either during the group meeting or via email or via the group website. The Stats Officer records these to present in their report each week. This forms the basis of the Stats Report. At most groups, they fill these slips in and physically pass them to the person that they are referring business to and shake their hand. The original slip is given to the referee and the carbon copy of the slip is passed to the Stats Officer.
- Testimonials: This is an important part of the meeting usually done in conjunction with the Referrals. Members will say something positive about the Speaker’s Presentation or a service one of the members has completed for with themselves or one of their clients.
- Guests are invited to make a comment about the meeting at this point. We ask “What was one thing that you enjoyed most about the meeting today”? This gives your guests the opportunity to let you know what they thought about the group and the members and how comfortable that they felt. A good gauge.
- Visitor Orientation: At the end of the meeting one of the Leadership Team members will meet with the guests that attended that day to listen to the guests feedback about the meeting. Explain how to join the group, costs and commitment are usually discussed at this time of the meeting.
- Coffee Meetings for Next Week: This is the time of the meeting when members book their coffee meetings with the other members of the group to catch up for a Coffee and a Chat to get to know more about each other and their businesses. This one simple thing distinguishes a great group from a good group. Having Coffee Meetings each week definitely increases the Referrals and Closed Business in the group
- The Leader now formally closes the meeting. Most weekly networking meetings are for 90 minutes.
How Can I visit a Weekly Networking Group Meeting
Most weekly networking groups allow a guest to come and visit their group twice before having to make a decision of whether the guests feels that this group is ‘a good fit for their business’. Some groups offer this for Free, other groups you will need to pay for your meal. Each group is different. Just ask when you book in to attend as a guest and be guided by them.
At NRG our guests can attend twice for Free.
For further information about weekly networking groups or Networkers Referral Group in particular, please contact Rose Gibbens – Director
Phone: 0478 201 866