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Networking - Am I missing a trick?

David Andrew Coaching

As a start-up coaching business, my friends advised that networking is one of the ways to meet and build relationships.

Not knowing how networking works, but with excitement, I began attending networking events.

In the last eighteen months, I visited over forty networking events, four quite regularly and created a lot of awareness and interest in my business.

However, I did not generate any new business.

Do I have a blind spot can someone shine a light?

I took my networking to the next level I signed up as a premium member of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce by paying a sizeable membership fee and have been to several networking events.

As a premium member, you get assigned a relationship manager. They are supportive and help with any business-related questions.

There are many other popular networking groups such as BNI which is highly structured, obligatory with terms and conditions which I attended only once by invitation.

The annual membership is a four-figure sum. A fee I couldn’t afford as a start on top of being a member of the Chamber of Commerce.

However, my experience at BNI was memorable. I was warmly greeted, great hospitality, and met friendly people.

The hotel breakfast is excellent at £15.00 (cash only) every time you attend.

I think breakfast is mandatory; it covers the venue cost.

I heard from some ex- BNI’s that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

Generally, in many networking events, the majority of the conversation starts with a whimper and winds down from there.

• How are you?
• Where are you from?
• What do you do?

With a smile and enthusiasm, I answered and reciprocated by asking the same questions.

This style of networking went on at most of the networking events I attended.

It sounded monotonous to often dull.

It got me thinking what’s the point of networking events if all I am going to learn about what everyone is doing and exchange business cards?

I have three hundred business cards in my collection and in the painful process of compiling a list on Excel spreadsheet.

I am sure it will come handy in the future.

· Does this resonate with you?
· What is your experience?

Here’s a new approach

I began with questions such as:

• What’s the biggest thing you’re working on right now?
• What excites you about your business?
• What do you like to get out of your business this year?
• How are you helping people like me these days?
• How would you want me to refer your company to someone else?

Surprised and with a puzzled look the responses I get are, oh that’s an interesting question?

It makes them think! Often the conversation gets engaging and flowing.

You can form good relationships. Would you like to learn more about effective networking?

Contact me on info@davidandrewcoaching.com - call 07778 062507 - 0121 439 9344

I conduct group and one to one coaching for SMEs, and employees who experience challenges at work, such as anxiety, stress, and lack of motivation.

The result is improved staff morale, reduction in sickness absence, work productivity, and save time and money.

To learn more, contact me on info@davidandrewcoaching.com or visit www.davidandrewcoaching.com Call 07778 062507 - 0121 439 9344.