Informal Networking

  • Name Informal Networking
  • Category Business NetworkingTaster-Session

Business Networking
Informal 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, yet when faced with a room full of strangers, most of whom are already speaking with each other, it’s difficult to know where to start.
This short session will cover the principals of business networking and provide practical skills of how to make it work for you.  Our journey will start with what to do before the event, move onto a plan of attack for the event itself and then finally focus on follow-up to maximise your networking effectiveness.

We hope you will enjoy this informative session.

For more details, please contact us using the form shown below.

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

0191 519 7298

Informal Networking

Informal networking, as opposed to formal networking, still takes place within your professional life, but, as the name suggests, has a less formal approach and structure. It is still an excellent opportunity for business growth for many professionals, but requires a different range of skills to the more formal (referral) networking approach. Informal networking can be just as powerful as formal networking when done correctly, and because it relies on common ground and shared interests, often from outside of the workplace, it can form stronger, more genuine bonds between people. Imagine for example that you happen to meet a veteran of the marketing industry who has many contacts within marketing and advertising agencies, and you just happen to be a graphic designer in an up-and-coming start-up. If you’ve been looking for a marketing team or marketing professional, there is a chance that this informal contact of yours may know a few people who will do marketing for your new company for reduced cost.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to networking, and you never know who you will be able to add to your circle of business contacts and acquaintances that will be able to come in handy in your professional life later down the road. Always actively seek out new contacts and experiences, and you will build a robust network of professionals that you are informally related to, and you will be able to, at the very least call, upon their expertise and advice in times of need, or maybe even open up more profitable opportunities later on.
The best business people find business opportunities in the most unlikely places. The same goes for good advice. Good advice will sometimes manifest itself at the most unexpected of times, and will come in the form of people that you never even knew would make a dramatic difference in your professional life. Always be on the lookout, but don’t come off as opportunistic or disingenuous, or you will drive people away and ruin any chances of creating an informal network that can result in great profitability.

The Power of Informal Networking

New business connections can come from the strangest of places. One of our clients, who we had coached for several years to great success, was able to find a business contact in the most unlikely of places. He signed up for a hiking club in his local area, and they would go out into the mountains for days at a time. This particular group of avid hikers and naturalists tended to draw a lot of survival campers and hard-core nature enthusiasts. It attracted hunters, professional climbers, cavers, and many more people who had a deep attachment to the natural world.
This client was also just getting into the sporting goods market, and had developed a line of survival tools that he was trying to bring to market. It just so happened that he met a good friend when he went out with his hiking group into one of England’s finest national parks, The Lake District in the North West United Kingdom. My client gravitated towards this man, who seems to possess a wealth of knowledge surrounding nature and survival, and apparently was a very good storyteller and had many stories about close encounters with dangerous animals in the wilderness.
They hit it off perfectly, and they became friends almost instantaneously. When my client finally brought up the fact that he was dabbling in the sporting goods industry with his new survival tools, he unexpectedly discovered that this new friend of his was a permanent member of the board at a major sporting goods chain, and offered to pitch the idea of my clients survival tools to a number of contacts within the industry. Within a year, my client found great success with his new informal contact, and proved to be one of the most successful stories of informal networking that I can give to you as an example.
Never be afraid to embrace your hobbies and your interests, and always make sure that you are constantly meeting new circles of friends and people in order to informally network and maximize the potential of this technique. You never know who you’re going to meet, and which of these friends may end up being the son of a powerful business magnates or angel investor who could raise your company from the ashes into a glorious new stage of business development.
Don’t count on the fact that you will meet some wealthy financier, and certainly do not rely on any rich friends that you meet to immediately get on board with your project and fund it outright. They didn’t get rich by investing stupidly in people that they only just met, and you should not expect to have immediate success with the informal networking tactic. It is all about opening up opportunities and avenues that you can later explore when you need contacts in various industries. Think about how knowing a graphic designer or someone who intimately understands the design industry may empower your business if you require the services or advice of someone who has an artist’s perspective. Opportunities can be found in many places, but if you deliberately look for them or at least make it known that you are only networking for the purpose of making a profit rather than trying to find friends or people with common interests, you will be invariably shut down. The key is to network without even thinking about it, and without letting your new friends and contacts know that you are actively looking to add people to your circle of friends that may be able to pull favours for you in the future.
It takes a mentor to help you hone these skills to an expert level, and I have helped thousands of clients improve their social skills in public speaking ability. My services include a detailed, one-on-one coaching plan that will teach you the ins and outs of networking effectively, both formally and informally. I can teach you to sell yourself and your idea effectively to potential investors and people who may be interested in backing your project, and I can also teach you how to get the best return on your investment for minimal effort.

Benefitting from a Other People’s Knowledge

Anyone who has been involved with entrepreneurship or who has invested money in their own business idea will know that mentors are invaluable. If you happen to be able to latch on to someone who has more experience than you in the industry, and who can potentially give you game breaking knowledge that will put you far ahead of any of your competitors, you should hang on for dear life. I believe in giving my clients the best education possible, and teaching them everything from the fundamentals of communication science to demonstrating real-world examples and techniques that have worked for nearly all of my students in varying industries. I want to help you succeed, and it is my ultimate objective to make sure that your investment and my knowledge was well spent. This does not mean that each and every one of my students have gone on to become millionaires, but it certainly does mean that they left my program with an increased sense of self-confidence, improve communication skills, and a better sense of how to utilize networking and other techniques to increase your success quotient.
A mentor can teach you the subtleties of networking and how to best utilize the full potential of informal networking in specific. Informal networking is something that can be difficult to pull off, and if you do it wrong, you can come off as offensive and alienate yourself from any potential contacts that you might have been able to befriend otherwise. First of all, you cannot start networking if you only intend to meet contacts who can offer you something. Don’t see it as wasted time if you don’t immediately meet anyone who can offer you advice, financing, or knowledge. See it as a journey, and treat anything that you find along the way as a bonus.
With this in mind, you can also always keep your eyes open for potential opportunities. The most successful people I have ever known in business have all had one thing in common: they were all high-performance people that never shut down and always look for opportunities without consciously letting people know that they were as ambitious and as tenaciously driven toward success as they actually were. If you are a high-intensity person and you are lucky enough to have been born with a burning ambition without coaching and training, then you know how easy it is to alienate people who are not possessed of the same energy and ambition is yourself.
You need to learn how to relax and wind down, otherwise you will drive away all potential business contacts that you could have had otherwise. People generally don’t want to talk about business 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Even people in your industry or in other industries who are very passionate and successful usually wants to shut down when they are out with friends. Learn to tone it down, and learn to hide your excitement and opportunism.

Get a Mentor

Our organisation will teach you these techniques and more in detail, contextually judging your situation in giving you personalized coaching to help you take advantage of the full power of informal networking. Since I have coached thousands of students on this topic, I have had the unique advantage of learning from them as well. I have heard many stories and captured knowledge from a variety of different perspectives. Never underestimate the power of listening to other people, and learn to start listening to the perspectives of everyone around you. You can find hidden knowledge where you least expect it, and this insight can provide you with the clear perspective that you are looking for. Knowledge has always tended to pop up in the most unlikely of places at the most opportune of times. Keep this in mind and your dealings with other people. The whole point of informal networking is to informally build a network of people that you are interested in associating with. Create a strong enough bond, and it is almost assured that they will be able to help you in the long run. You never know who they know either, and one of your friends could be married to someone who holds immense weight in your industry or another industry that you are interested in from a business perspective.
An article cannot teach you the art of informal networking properly, which is why I encourage everyone reading this who is serious about success in business to seek out my services and join my growing list of clients who have utilized my knowledge and my advice to find their own success and tread their own path towards their business objectives. I will give you the tools that you need to succeed in the business world, and I will teach you to be a better networker and to be more sociable and attentive to the people around you. Lessons like the ones contained in this article are a mere sample of the experiences and knowledge that I have to share with you. I don’t believe in regurgitated information, and I have created a unique plan that has worked for thousands of people and that has helped them attain true success. My knowledge is rooted within psychology and within the empirical sciences, and I draw most of my inspiration from the experiences of people I have met and from the fundamentals of communication science that have proven time and time again to apply to a variety of different situations and across nearly every industry.
If you are dedicated to improving your ability to network with other people, we will be more than happy to coach you in the art of people and communication. Let’s get in contact and touch base, and let’s create a plan that works for you. I will interview you and involve myself intimately with your success, and I will follow up with you and see your plan through to the end to the best of our ability.