Tag Archives: networking

Networking: Great Tips For Long Term Business Partnerships

1. Always be networking.

networking session

Social media makes it so simple to connect. Social media is amazing, but it’s not that easy to build long-lasting business relationships, especially with a person who has an extensive network of contacts. How make yourself stand out so you can develop a deeper connection with ideal contacts?

It seems to me that  a good starting point is to attend live events to network with the right people in person. Let them see the person behind the Linkedin and Twitter profile photo.  That way you can connect with the movers and shakers in your niche and actually get deals done.  If you atten

I always make it a point to attend the big speeches at conferences so you can get a feel for what issues the organisers belive will resonate.  You can always mail the keynote speakers after a conference and refer to their speeches and points you felt you connected on.

In order to develop a positive relationship with someone you meet at a conference it is good to focus on 3 or  4 key points where you think your interests intertwine.

2. Nurture Relationships Without an Agenda.

Don’t focus primarily on what you can get from a new contact, abruptly asking for what you want. If you are seeking financing for startup or expansion you should take a more rounded approach.  Seek help and information rather than instant investment.  Develop contacts as friends rather than as 2-legged banks.

Entrepreneurs should seek out the ways they can provide additional value to potential partners or investors by simply being naturally curious. A great question to ask might be something like: Who would be an ideal referral for your business, and how would you like me to introduce you?

The key is to provide as much value as you can without expectation. In the end, it’s usually worth it, as reciprocity is one of the critical components in creating influence, according to Robert Cialdini in his bestselling book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. During his research, Cialdini found that if you do something for someone first, they are more likely to reciprocate. He also learned the favours don’t have to be equivalent in value, so sometimes a small favour can beget a bigger one in return. If you continue to provide value within your relationships without the expectation of a quid pro quo, it establishes trust and creates a natural bond.  In fact, this approach is remarkably similar to what relationship therapists would suggest in couples counselling.

Reciprocity is a very strong instict that lies at the basis of many business relationships.  This is why marketeers are keen to give prospects something ‘free’ that is of some value to establish a chain of reciprocity right from the start.

3. Ask, But in a Subtle Manner. 

If you’ve appropriately nurtured a relationship, you can naturally align interests that can provide synergy to the deal. So when you believe the time is right, you can make your request. However, the context of how you ask is just as critical as what you ask. Rather than directly asking about partnering on a project, it’s better to ask in a way that lets the other party initiate the move to a deal.

For example, schedule a time to talk with your potential business partner and position your ask as follows: “Can I get your advice on something? I’m looking to partner on a business project with someone and wanted to see if there’s anyone in your network you can recommend.”

This strategy gives your potential partner the option to express interest and learn more if they are curious. If not, you are giving them an easy way to defer. Either way, you can take a step in the right direction without harming your relationship, and you gain the opportunity to share your vision.

When you are talking with our team here at Hold Everything please feel free to ask us if we have other clients who might want to network or partner with you.  Our clients are very entrepreneurial and open to new projects.  We might just be able to do a bit of business ‘matchmaking’ for you.

 

Does business networking work? – A Message from Richard Cooper

 

It’s currently an amazing time here at Hold everything.   I have had some amazing encounters from suppliers and customers, and also learnt a couple of good lessons along the way, especially recently.  

If I asked a room full business people whether they used word of mouth to grow their business, most of them would say yes.  

We all use this phrase “word of mouth” but how do we make it profitable?   Business Networking is an excellent way to do this.  If you Google the term “Business Networking” followed by your locality however, you will often find that there are hundreds of different groups to choose from and beware, not ALL networks are the same!

So how do you choose a networking group and how can you tell if it’s any good?   Here are my top five tips!

1)      Have you visited ? The number of people I speak to who won’t visit  “XYZA” networking  because they were told it was no good/too regimented/ not serious enough or any other reason,  is ridiculous!   Make your OWN choices and decide for yourself. Good groups will have many members often nationwide and worldwide and will know through experience about what makes networking work!  The newer groups are not to be sniffed at either?  If there is a buzz on the grapevine that they are good – GET THERE and give it a go!

2)      Is there a structure?  In my experience the strong, ethical, networking groups have some form of structure or agenda which they STICK to.  I love meeting new people but for networking to work for me, it’s got to be about business and not just a cuppa and a gossip. My time is valuable

3)      Can you MEASURE it?   No matter how complicated or frightening it may be, if you are serious about making your business successful then you need to measure it.  Measuring just the money is a good start, but remember the contacts and the support too.  Have you met with a professional in the group who gave you advice?  Would you have ordinarily paid for it?   Then measure the savings and support too. 

4)     Will they support you when things go wrong? Will they miss you?  Many new networkers assume that companies and networking groups will be sympathetic if something happens that is exceptional or unexpected.  I have seen just how AMAZING companies can be.  I have also seen how unhelpful and hard some can be too.    It isn’t unreasonable for any networking group to ask you to commit for 3 months, a year or maybe two, however CHECK carefully and ASK what would happen if you couldn’t meet your commitments in an emergency either short OR long term.   A good networking group will do everything in their power to help regardless of the circumstances.   Most groups are set up to support small businesses, sadly they don’t always act in this manner so DO ask the question and satisfy yourself that the owners and leaders of the group reflect YOUR’s and YOUR COMPANY’s culture.

5)      Are YOU ready to make an effort to make it happen?  Networking and just “turning up” won’t make it happen for you.  You have GOT to be prepared to do some work too.    Great groups have a structure again to show you how from additional workshops, to 121 support.  When you join your group, don’t gripe about it, GRAB IT and take the opportunities available. 

Go with what works for you and where you feel right.  Measure it and LEARN from some of the best in the business… but DO please watch out for the snakes …….

Until next week

Richard Cooper – Virtual Office Visionary
follow me @holdeverything1

 

 

Bank of England holds rates at…

Bank of England holds rates at 0.5%

The Bank of England on Monday held its key lending rate at a record low 0.50
percent, in line with market expectations, amid domestic political
uncertainty and eurozone financial troubles. Skip related content

“The BoE’s monetary policy committee today voted to maintain the official
bank rate paid on commercial bank reserves at 0.50 percent,” the central
bank said in a brief statement.

Economists had expected the BoE to adopt a “wait and see” approach due to
rapidly-moving events at home and abroad, and as it seeks to cement
Britain’s fragile economic
recovery.

This month’s interest rate call was delayed by last week’s general election,
which has left Britain with a hung parliament and no outright winner.

The BoE added Monday that it had decided not to alter its so-called
quantitative easing policy, under which it had pumped