So, you don’t think networking works for your business, but you are not sure why. You know multiple people who swear by it, but it just hasn’t worked out for you. The question is are you sure you are doing it right?

A lot of people who have recently started out in business will join a local business network of some description (and there is no shortage of them in Sydney!). They are all slightly different but also have a lot of similarities. In all cases, the success or failure of the group is down to the members and if they are networking in the right way. If you follow these simple tips you will not only get more out of networking, so will everyone else in your networking group:

  1. Go to the meetings – and I don’t just mean once or twice. If you are new to a group make sure you are there for every meeting for at least the first three months. People want to know you are reliable and committed to the process. Don’t show up twice and give up, people need to know you before they will want to help you
  2. Be present at meetings – now this is not the same as going along, this is about being there a little early, leaving a little late, not checking your phone the whole time and really listening to the other people there. If you are just there because you feel you have to be, people will notice and they won’t want to work with you
  3. Follow Up – most people are in a few business networks and they meet a lot of people. If you want to get the most out of the new relationships make sure you get in touch outside of meetings, arrange a coffee catch up, send over more info on your business etc.
  4. Tell other people about your networking – tell people you meet while you are working, tell people in the gym, tell people at the beach, tell your social networks, tell everyone! The more people you tell the more likely you are to recruit new members and help to grow the group
  5. Have a solid elevator pitch – every networking group asks you to deliver one at some point so make sure you have a good one and make sure you know how long it needs to be for each group. The pitch can be anything from 5 seconds at some groups up to 60 seconds or more at others so practice a few different versions. Don’t worry if you talk for a bit too long as the worst that will happen is someone will ring a bell or cough at you so you know to wrap it up. If the group focuses on referrals you also need to know who you want to be referred to as you will get a chance to tell everyone this as well. The trick with the pitch is to be concise, memorable and specific, for example here is my mini pitch:

“My name is Andy Sephton and I am the Managing Director of the Consultants’ Community. I am assuming you have all heard of eHarmony? Well at The Consultants’ Community we are all about b2bharmony as we help match businesses with their ideal consultants. An ideal referral for me is anyone you know who has recently moved from a home office into a shared office or commercial premises.”

This is short, to the point, memorable and has a clear referral request at the end, and feel free to drop me an email if you know anyone you would like to connect me with 🙂

So just remember that if networking is not working for you, maybe you just aren’t doing it right. Want to talk about networking some more? Book in a meeting with us today:

2 replies
  1. Ben Parry
    Ben Parry says:

    Should have read this first! What I will change is not say who is my ideal buyer, as there are influences and decision makers that would be good as referrals as well!

    Good cyber podcast as well, thanks for sharing Andy


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