Plan your networking

As far as business development and networking, are you feeling that you have had time-off during the pandemic?  How are you going to get back to it?

As lockdown started many of us resorted to online networking and incorporated a virtual meeting platform into our lives even more than before and it looks like online networking will continue for now. 

Are you ready to resume or increase your networking attendance?  For some, who don’t really like the idea of networking, online networking has done little to enhance their enjoyment but every business needs to develop a pipeline or new connections.  So we will go back to doing what we always did and continue to join a variety of networking groups with little thought to what we are trying to achieve- apart from ‘I want more customers and sales’.

It is useful though to have a bit of a plan or strategy around your networking and of course, the best way of getting new clients is through referrals.  Referred customers, buy more quickly, more often, stay with you longer,Lining your ducks up and most importantly provided you have done a good job, refer you to others.

Referrals of course are made to you only when certain aspects are met, the biggest and most fundamental being, Trust.  This is so vital and probably takes a little while to achieve so going to new networking events is great for increasing your connections and starting to build business relationships but the goal of achieving more sales by simply doing that may be a little while in the making.

Before you do anything else, why not have a look at those people you already have a business relationship with, those people who may be in your contacts in your phone or database and get in touch, ask how they are but DO NOT SELL to them.  Your best referrals will come from people who trust you so if they think that you are going to sell to them every time you speak to them, this will not help your relationship.

You may have lots of good connections already who can help you grow your business and who you can help grow theirs.  

Networking, Planning, Connections

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Mindset matters!

Have you ever heard the term Growth Mindset or Fixed Mindset? I was listening to an audiobook in the car and reference was made to Mindset and Growth Mindset. The context was education, but it got me thinking about mindset and business.

It is hard to describe exactly what Mindset is but generally, it is the collection of thoughts, beliefs, values and experiences that you have about something that creates the attitude that you have about it. And if your mindset to an extent pre-determine how you will respond to something.

It will come as no surprise that the amount of effort that you are prepared to make to achieve something will often depend on your Mindset. Clearly, why would you put effort into something that you don’t believe will work!

We know from athletes and those who are world-class at what they do that the belief that you can achieve and commitment to making the effort is vital to success. I accept that for athletes there is a bit more to it, such as health, diet and the right Coach!

Our mindset affects how we get things done, the amount of effort we make and it can stop us from developing or growing as a person. A fixed mindset means that a person is less likely to try to view things from another perspective, will readily find ‘reasons’ that something won’t work or hasn’t worked, even to the point of saying ‘I’m no good at this’ and have done everything that I can!

By comparison, someone with a ‘growth mindset’ is much more likely to try out new ideas, change what they are doing to get a better result and embark on learning, as well as make increase their focus and effort to achieve their goal.

Why is all this important now? How we do business has changed, my own business is quite different from what it was like when we first started. In the UK we have a high degree of uncertainty right now so to be more flexible, collaborate, make the most our connections, increase our knowledge and focus may help us overcome some of the challenges that we all face in business.

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Are you getting enough from your Networking?

If your answer is that ‘it could be better’, then that’s much the same as most people that I ask. A few years ago, I did what I understood at the time to be a Networking Training programme that was an absolute game-changer for me. You see I had been networking morning, noon and night to generate business, but it Just wasn’t paying off considering all of the time and effort that I was putting in. Of course, occasionally I got lucky and met someone who actually wanted to buy my services, but it was a lot of hours to get so few clients. In fact, my husband commented that he thought my business was actually meeting people and having coffee (and where possible CAKE!) And yes, I did get bigger physically around the middle! So, let me tell you more about this training programme. I thought that I’d earned my stripes at networking, but I am always keen to learn new things and improve what I do. It was a surprise to find that ‘networking’ was not where we started. In fact, networking itself came much further into the course.  Success image
This course was and is much more about you, your audience and how you reach them with the underpinning theme of building a referral marketing strategy and working plan. After all we all know that the best clients come from referrals. So, this course showed us how to do the right behaviours in a planned and meaningful way to strengthen the right business relationships for me and my business. I started my business like many other business owners to have more choice about how and who I work with, to find a few years into it that the hours were massively more than when I had a ‘proper’ job and I wasn’t doing what was making me happy let alone generating enough revenue. We learned to think more strategically about our business, what it is about and then move to identifying if we had the right people in our network. And if not, how we go about finding, selecting and developing the right strategic relationships. Now that all sounds a bit cold and impersonal, but it was very much based on the ethos of ‘Know, Like and Trust’ because rarely do we do business with anyone that we don’t like.
It was a bit like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, but you design the pieces as you go along. We implemented the relationship-building activities in between each session and then shared our experiences, learning from each other. The training incorporated brand and image, target clients and the right referral partners, vision, mission, all of the time working on your business live, establishing effective behaviours that enhanced what I was doing already and showed me what to change. I loved the material so much, it had helped me to gain a core of strong business relationships so I trained to be an Asentiv Coach and now deliver this programme alongside my other Training and Coaching.

Want to find out if it could work for you? Or have some questions about how I can help you build your business get in touch on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0121 289 4400

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Business growth -It’s all on your shoulders

Peer Group image

 

 If you have ever seen a video, read, or listened to a successful person who has achieved amazing things or incredible wealth, they will likely state that they had a team of people around them to help them achieve their goals whether financial or life goals.  In some instances that might mean that you join a peer to peer or Mastermind group to grow your business.

However, for some, though I suspect that if you are the business owner or the main business driver, then inviting others to discuss your ideas, direction, and goals and who then hold you accountable for your actions,  could leave you in a cold sweat!   It’s easier to do nothing but of course, don’t expect a different result if you are not prepared to change anything. 

Then there is the effort of making new connections and relationships.  How many times do you meet a group of people or one individual even and find it difficult to relate to them because they are different?  Humans don’t like uncertainty which is why we find those kinds of situations uncomfortable.

Getting to that comfortable point in a conversation,  building rapport with someone who communicates in a different style to you may take a little longer but the key here is to have a willingness to build a relationship and the more you expose yourself to that situation,  generally the easier it will become. 

It is natural to be protective of your business, wanting to ensure that it is ‘safe and sound’ but the flip side of that coin is that you could also prevent exposure to new ideas, challenges, and solutions. 

You will have heard the saying that ‘it is lonely at the top’  sometimes it is because of confidentiality that you can’t discuss things with others but it can also be because you are so immersed in your day to day task list and delivery,  that the only person having a discussion with you, is you

Often when we think about joining a group or network, we think about being part of a group of ‘like-minded people’ which is nice from a level of comfort but probably not as good for your business as you might think.  If everyone is the same as you, how are they going to offer you different ideas and solutions and vice versa?  How can you grow as a person? 

What is your motive?  If the only reason for joining a group is to get more sales then you may have to think about your mindset.  Remember that nobody likes to be ‘sold to’, a room full of target clients is unlikely and if your only motive is to sell then you will get found out.  In Bob Burg and John Mann’s book, The Go-Giver one of the key values is that your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.

If you are genuinely a giving person then a peer to peer group or Mastermind as it is often known is likely to work very well for you.  You will understand the law of reciprocity and genuinely see the benefit of helping others as well as helping yourself. 

I would suggest that you find a group of people where the only similarity is the recognition that self-development directly correlates with business growth and a desire to support and help others to achieve their goals.  No one person should dominate including the facilitator, the only expertise that you need from the facilitator is that of facilitating.

Of course, most people will come at it from an ‘investment cost’ and ask ‘what their ROI will be?  Like most things in business, time is important, and ROI is bound to take a little while.  People still buy from people, so my recommendation is that you treat people how you want to be treated, work on creating strong business relationships and remember that Know Trust and Like must be there to do business. 

People often forget what you say but they won’t forget how you make them feel.  This as a long- term strategy and not a quick fix.  Find people who have been part of this sort of group to get their story and you only have to look on the internet to find people who have significantly increased their business and developed themselves by being part of a peer to peer or Mastermind group. 

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