Formal Networking

  • Name Formal Networking
  • Category Business NetworkingTaster-Session

Business Networking
Formal Networking – Taster Session

Taster sessions are a great opportunity to get to know our coaching style before you invest in any of our development programs.

Business networking is often viewed as a ‘must have’ for many organisations, but for many people, the daunting thought of delivering an elevator pitch and passing referrals may be enough to finish your networking career before it’s even started..
This short session will cover the principals of business networking and provide practical skills of how to make it work for you.  We will provide a check-list of how to be prepared for the event, show you how to deliver a stunning 60 second pitch and then finally focus on what you need to do outside of networking to maximise your effectiveness.

We hope you will enjoy this practical development session.

If you are interested in finding out more on our formal networking programs, please use the form below to contact us.

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Office Address:

The Quadrus Centre
Woodstock Way
Boldon
Tyne & Wear
NE35 9PF

0191 519 7298

Formal Networking

Formal networking (often also called Referral Networking) is a powerful way to build your contacts and make inroads into a depth of potential new clients. The phrase “sell through the room, not to the room” is often mentioned when speaking about this type of networking. Based on the networking principle of 6 degrees of separation, your referral networking colleagues can provide warm referrals into target organisations. Potentially, your days of ‘cold calls’ may be a thing of the past when warm referrals take over your prospecting approach.
Imagine the following scenario: you are given the opportunity to speak to someone who is a master of your field, and who has played a major part in your industry for the last several decades. He or she is experienced, wise and has a reputation for being quite assertive and unforgivingly judgmental. Perhaps you were introduced to this person by a senior person in your company, or you were given the opportunity to speak to them and had an idea. They could end up being a major investor or member of your board or dream team, or they could provide key advice that could make the difference between the success and failure of your company in your industry. This is a common scenario for entrepreneurs, especially those involved with industries who have a disproportionate number of new, young blood and old money.
What you say to this individual? Given this incredible opportunity, you can really take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime chance. Your heart pounds, your stomach churns and you are most likely trembling at the thought of speaking to someone with such gravitas and history. For people who do not sympathize with this experience, and they possess cold, steely nerves that give them masterful negotiation skills from birth, then you do not need to read this article.
You will probably spend a lot of your time leading up this meeting worrying that you will “mess up”. You’ll say the wrong thing, say something unintentionally offensive, or make yourself look like an absolute fool because you are so excited and nervous about meeting someone who has been transformative in the history of your discipline or profession. Many people would not even show up to a potential opportunity because they would be crippled by the fear of actually meeting someone of this nature. Most people do not seize the chance, and this is why most people do not get ahead.
People attending this type of event are often looking to build long-term business relationships that are professional in nature. This is not socialising with friends, or chatting with your co-workers, it is about finding new contacts. This type of circumstance calls for great dignity, respect, and ritual. It is an opportunity to maximize your social capital and raise the bar. Now, you just need a battle plan for success.

Strategies for Referral Networking

Don’t be afraid to research the attendees of this type of event in advance of the meeting. Any knowledge you have will be beneficial when trying to forge new business relationships. Call the event host ahead of time and ask questions.
Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all solution here. You have to be prepared for a wide range of contacts you are likely to meet. It’s also best not to discount people as ‘inappropriate’ for your referral partners. Experience has shown that referrals can come from any source and are certainly not restricted to people within a similar profession, trade or industry. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Experienced networkers realise that ‘givers get’ and are only too willing to lend a hand and support the growth of not just their own but your business also.
Of course, there are many organisations and types of business networking events for you to attend. Many networking opportunities will simply consist of being a part of an entrepreneur network, or working your way into the inner circle of executives at the company you are currently working for or a company you are working with. The difference between this type of event and a more informal approach is the structure of the event. It is likely that you will be expected to come prepared not just with a pocket full of business cards, but a short presentation about who you are and what your organisation does. This is referred to as a 60 second commercial or elevator pitch. If you are to meet the same referral group partners on a regular basis, you cannot simply have one elevator pitch and continue to use it week after week. To gain credibility and demonstrate to the rest of the group why they should feel totally comfortable passing referrals to you, you could tell stories about recent clients, what their challenges were, how you helped them and, perhaps most importantly, how fabulous the result was. Your range of elevator presentations should be wide and varied to demonstrate the breadth of what you are able to do. Do not make the mistake of trying to cram everything you do into a single 60 second pitch. There’s simply too much information and your message will become distorted and unclear. Be concise, be specific and be engaging if you want to maximise the amount of referrals you receive.
You should show respect, and you should shake hands respectfully with all the people you meet. The group may need to check you out and test if you will fit into their established structure. Many of this type of group only allow one person from a particular trade or profession in the group. This means you get exclusivity on whatever you do. If you have something to offer the group, or your knowledge on the industry or your unique perspective is valuable enough to them, you are likely to be accepted and can start to build your new contacts in your business network. Establish yourself as an authority, and protect your reputation and credibility. Never come off as lazy or uninterested, and always show up exactly on time, promptly but not arriving so early that it seems disrespectful or disingenuous.
Everyone is in a vastly different situation, and while you can certainly find commonalities between different business networking situations, you may need help and support to develop a strategy that will work every time during your business network activities. We have been mentoring a wide range of businesses over the years on any subject that falls under the umbrella of communication and business networking certainly is one of those topics. Whether it is delivering your elevator pitch, knowing what to ask for as a specific referral or simply overcoming the nerves and anxiety attached with business networking, we can help with your development. We have helped countless business people increase their professional market value and networking skills, and have given them the tools and fundamental knowledge needed for them to create a more appealing profile that will increase their chances of landing a job with excellent career prospects within the company that they are already employed by. Ultimately though, we will take the time to assess your individual situation and interview you in a one-on-one setting to effectively guide you in the right direction and give you personalized coaching. If you are serious about taking advantage of the power of business networking, we have an excellent track record in the industry by helping all of our clients secure deals and network more efficiently.

Why You Need a Mentor

With the first example, I mentioned the importance of mentors in any business or industry. The best mentor that you can have is someone who has been through the exact same process that you have. Our coaches are seasoned networkers and have been involved intimately with the sales industry with a variety of different businesses throughout many years. During that time we have gleaned incredible knowledge from a variety of sources both directly and indirectly. By studying communication skills extensively we have spoken to the most successful people in the region and beyond and are proud to have coached some of the most successful figures in modern sales and business.
Our client list continues to grow every year, and our philosophy remains the same. We Take the time to understand your specific needs, provide you with the tools that you need to find your own path, unlock your true potential, and ultimately help you to find success in the long-term. If you have a self-driven learning style, and you want a mentor who can give you an objective third-party perspective on your conduct and analyse your behaviour in this type of event and other situations, we can guide you on how to best handle any situation that arises.
Personalized coaching is proven to work in pretty much every industry. Sales and marketing in particular call for special attention from a mentor who knows the correct communications approach in depth. When you are dealing with high profile people who are willing to spend a lot of money on you and your business idea, you need someone who can teach you the ins and outs of referral networking so that you can take advantage of opportunities that arise and not let them pass you by like so many other people who are too afraid to take the initiative. It is the difference between people who succeed and people who fail.
Our programs can teach you proven networking tactics that have worked for a countless number of situations, and we will also give you personalized training and advice so that you can apply these unique tactics to your own situation successfully. Help will be provided to assist you transition into excellence and improve your networking skills so that you can start contacting the people who can make a difference, and so you can establish a network of experts who can serve as your mentors and sources of advice and even in common the long-term.
For people who are serious about success, the cost of hiring a mentor is a meagre expense with a high return on investment. You know the value of knowledge, and you know the value of hiring someone who can give you personalized, one-on-one sales training and improve your ability to successfully create strong and long-lasting business networks that will repay you with thousand times over. It is important to choose an experienced professional who has not just read about the various types of networking but has also attended such groups on a regular basis and has achieved success whilst being there. From our programs you will get personalized training and the benefit of many years of front-line experience and expertise.
If you did not benefit from a mentor (perhaps a family member) whilst you were growing up, there is a chance that you may have low self-esteem and are poor self-salesman. If you are unable to sell yourself and the organisation you represent, you may never be able to convince others of your worth and represent your true value in the marketplace of business. No matter what industry you work in, is important to cultivate self-confidence and a higher sense of self-worth in order to truly create a strong network of advisors, investors, and business contacts who will help ensure that your career will be a long and successful one. Whether you are an entrepreneur who is striking out on your own, or you are involved with a large corporation that is highly competitive, our advice is that you should seek knowledge derived from first-hand experiences and from proven techniques that have worked time and time again for a wide range of business people.
If you are looking for a personalized training program that will give you the tools you need to successfully market yourself to other people in your industry, and will teach you to network intelligently so that you have a wide variety of different resources at your disposal, we believe that there is no better program than ours. We are proud to be highly respected and experienced in the communications industry by taking initiative and by continually learning new lessons from our clients and by listening carefully to their experiences and absorbing their individual perspectives and knowledge. We work hard to be as good a listener as we are coaches and teachers and I will guarantee to invest ourselves in your success to ensure that you get a great return on your investment and absorb the full value of the knowledge that we have to give you. We very much look forward to working with you, and I hope you consider making Be A Great Speaker your exclusive mentors for all your networking strategies.