Better business networking | Gwyneth Box | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

13 Lessons (1h 25m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Business networking basics

    • 3. Types of networking group

    • 4. Payment and other obligations

    • 5. Types of activity

    • 6. What's your motivation?

    • 7. Be prepared

    • 8. Maximise opportunities

    • 9. Follow up and follow through

    • 10. What is a pitch?

    • 11. The content of your pitch

    • 12. Presenting your pitch

    • 13. Summing up and moving forward

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About This Class

Networks have always been important for business - from family-run businesses, to the old-school tie, jobs-for-the-boys and the whole ugly world of nepotism. But now, perhaps more than ever, we have the idea of networking as an activity, an activity that has become a keystone for small and medium-sized businesses, especially those who work with other businesses. 

But face-to-face networking can be frightening - the idea of walking into a room full of strangers, of pitching your business to a crowd of people you don't know - and it can also be a tremendous drain on time and money. It really helps if you understand the general landscape of networking and how the different organisations function so that you can make more informed decisions about where to focus your resources.

In this course, we'll take a look at the types of group, the obligations that membership can involve, and the activities you can expect at different meetings. 

We'll look at the whole before, during and after progression, with guidance on how you can prepare beforehand, advice on how to act during the event - including a section on how to prepare your pitch - and recommendations on what to do afterwards, to make your networking more effective.

We'll ask you to consider your own reasons for networking and explain some of the other motivations you may come across - it's important to realise that not everyone approaches things in the same spirit.

If you're new to networking this course will give you a clear overview of what is involved and get you on the right track from day one.

If you're a seasoned networker it will offer the opportunity to take stock and review what you are doing and why, to be sure you are getting the most out of your efforts.

Meet Your Teacher

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Gwyneth Box

Poet, translator, lifestyle journalist


Award-winning poet, writer, translator and businesswoman, with a career spanning IT, teaching, design and publishing, Gwyneth specialises in copy writing and transcreation, particularly in the fields of lifestyle, travel and technology.

As joint owner of the UK design agency Tantamount, Gwyneth works with businesses, educators and freelance creatives on projects that draw together the threads of publishing, design, technology and training.

As a writer, she is fascinated by the multi-layered aspects of language revealed through translation and poetry, and her creative writings explore the borderlands between writer and narrator, between translation and creation, and between memoir and invention.

During ... See full profile

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1. Introduction: hello and welcome to better business networking. I'm gonna box and I'm joint owner of the Tantamount creative agency. Now, I've done a lot of networking over the years, and when I started out, I made all the mistakes. I discovered the pitfalls the hard way. So I've designed this course to share my experience so that you can learn from my mistakes . Business is all about relationships, and networking has a very important role to play, but a lot of people find it intimidating. And also it's a potentially bottomless pit into which you comport time and money with no clearly quantifiable return. On that investment, you'll be better equipped to choose the right events to go to. You'll know how to set goals before you go and how to take stock afterwards To make sure that your networking is really being effective, we're going to look at the general networking landscape so that you can find out which of the best meetings to go to. We're going to look at what you do before, during and after the meetings, meeting etiquette in general and some more specific issues such as the 62nd pitch. The course is primarily designed for those who are starting out on their business journey on a new to networking. But it's also going to be a useful reminder for seasoned networkers who may have got a little bit comfortable and gone on to auto pilot and lost track of the need for accountability. I do hope that you'll sign up for the course and discover how to make your networking mawr effective and start laying the foundations for better, long term, ongoing business relationships. See you later. Thank you. 2. Business networking basics: Hello. We're going to be looking at networking at why it's important and also how to make it more effective. Now. We all know that business is built on relationships. We recognize the value of a good testimonial of a personal referral, a word of mouth recommendation. Essentially, I think we recognize that people do business with people. NETWORKINGS all about meeting people. It's all about meeting people in a non threatening, non sales E situation. So it's a really good time toe start to build those ongoing long term relationships that lead to good business. I've been networking for a long time, and I've talked to colleagues and clients about their networking experiences, and I find that some of them are actually very frightened of networking. There are some riel specific fears. The fear of walking into a room with maybe 50 people, 100 people that you don't know and selling yourself, selling your business, selling your product well, I think that's a bit of a misunderstanding of that of what NETWORKINGS about. There's also the fear of standing up and having to give a 62nd pitch in front of a room full of strangers. Public speaking after all, is one of the major fears of most people. But it's not just these specific personal fears. There's also the fear that retreat. There are so many different groups, so many different types of networking event, and it can be incredibly time consuming, and it could be really very costly. So how can you be sure that you're getting any return on your investment, that you're not just throwing away your time and your money with all these different networking events? Well, hopefully what this course is going to do is going toe help you to focus on the type of networking you want to do. You should be doing how to do it better. How to make it more effective generally to get you on the path toe better business networking, yeah. 3. Types of networking group: we're going to take a look at different types of networking group different formats because one thing to realize is that normal networking groups are created equal. Now there are some which are almost spontaneous informal groups, maybe the small business. A small business owner looks around the coffee shop and goes, I see the same people every Thursday morning and strikes up a conversation on there. You've got a new for a new networking group, which is created then there, on the other end of the scale, you've got formal groups, which have been going for many, many years, where they demand sometimes very high membership fees. They have a regular pattern of meetings on a regular commitment to to the group. Some groups are are very informal, very relaxed. Others are much more supportive. Some offer training, some offer mentoring. There's others are much more laissez faire. So there's a whole range off of dynamic, a whole range of attitude on what you need to do is to find the sort of group that suits you the sort of group where you feel comfortable but not just feel comfortable. You need to be talking to the right people and giving your business the right exposure. So let's have a look at a little more at the different types of group that you'll find. There are member only groups where you pay an annual membership. You may pay extra for for meetings, but you have a reduced membership, a limited membership. Andi. These are the only people who can attend the meetings. Or maybe you can take invited guests. And occasionally there may be an open day for any visitor to arrive on to to see whether they think that they will fit in. So their membership groups. There are other groups where guests are always welcome, where whenever there's a meeting, they put it on a a website, and anyone can click through and register to attend the meeting now. Often you'll find that you can't go off too many meetings as a guest. Maybe you can go to two or three on. They may want you to join the group after that, but at least you get the chance to try the group out and see whether it suits you. As I said, there are informal, unstructured groups where maybe there's just a time and a venue between 9 30 11 30 this day of the week in this venue, and you turn up when you want. You leave when you want. You manage your own conversations, whereas at the other end of that scale, you've got groups where if you're not there by 9 30 you'll miss something because something specific was going to happen on after 15 minutes, something else happens. There's a different activity after 30 minutes, the the change of activity again. Maybe there's a seminar. Maybe there's a presentation, so it's much more structured. There are sectors, sector specific groups. So some of professional organizations, professional associations, arranged groups which are just for their members. It doesn't have to be a professional organization, though. I know the groups which are for financial professional services, and they're generally quite open groups. They don't only allow people from the professional services. They also allow businesses to become members if they deal with professional services. So, for example, if you're in HR company who specializes in personnel for finance, then you would be very welcome to go to those groups because you can supply what the membership needs. And so there's that kind of group. There are other groups which are mawr closed door almost in the exact opposite there that instead of having everyone from more or less the same sector, they say they only want one person from each industry or one person who does one business, which does each job so that if they got a plumbing company, they only really want one plumbing company so that all the members of the group will be able to recommend any plumbing work that they need or that their contacts need contacts need. They will recommend this single plumber all this single plumbing company, and that means that they keep the business within their group and thes sales referral groups can be very, very strong, but they can also I've I've heard them actually referred to his coltish some off. Um, so that's a dynamic which may or may not suit you. There were others who welcome anyone, no matter what sector. They don't mind if they get 10 printers in the room. They say that this business for everyone on that No. Two companies do exactly the same anyway, that you certainly don't get the same customer experience from two different companies so they're They're very, very open, very, very welcoming. Now there are groups which are based locally. Do you want to be focusing your your business effort in your local geographical area? Some of the groups have overarching national organization so that if you're a member of a local group by being a member, you can also attend meetings in other venues in other cities. If you're traveling, that could be quite useful. If you're a member of the group, even if you can't travel to the other meetings, perhaps your membership will give you access to people in other locations as well. And then we get on to the non face to face networking. So if as a member, you have access to groups which are outside of your geographical area, maybe it's through an online forum. Um, and this off course there's online networking that's very common in the UK On Twitter, for example, many of the different areas regions town cities have their own hash tag. Andi, at a certain time, on a certain day of the week, you use Hashtag West Midlands and you'll be directing your your tweets to people who are either active in the West Midlands or interested in being active in the West Midlands. And although that's a non face to face and almost it's a faceless kind of networking. But you'll find that many of these also have a monthly or quarterly event where there is actually a ah hashtag live event or a tweet up where people who really only know their online personas, they actually meet each other in person, and that takes us back to the face to face relationship building, which is such a part of networking. 4. Payment and other obligations: in this section, we're going to take a quick look at payment on other obligations off belonging to a networking group because we have to remember that networking is a business like any other. It has overheads at the venue, the refreshments, the organization all need to be paid for. Onda money has to exchange hands at some point for most of these groups. Now you may get a free venue. Maybe a bar or a coffee shop will welcome you toe. Hold your networking event in in their premises, thinking that if it's happening at an off peak time for them, they'll be able to get more business at a time where they wouldn't normally have business. And they also hope that people who go to the networking will get to know the the venue and will go there on other occasions as well. And sometimes some of the big hotels on conference centers will offer to host a one off event purely so that they can show you their facilities. From their point of view, that's what they're getting out off it, and it's really a courtesy to accept that you will have a tour of the venue as part of the event, but on a personal level, they got different kinds of fees. We have the annual membership. Andi, that's that could be anything from a little asst £2030 to hundreds, if not thousands of pounds. And obviously you've got to look about at what sort of budget you've got and what you are getting in return. Membership doesn't normally only give you the right to attend meetings. Membership may give you a profile on a website may give you access to the details of the other members, both at a local level. We talked about local and national and international groups. You may be buying yourself a whole list of people who are. You have certain level of trust already build into that introduction so some of the memberships could be expensive, but they do sometimes give quite a lot back. Um, another thing, even in the smaller groups that you find members are allowed to do, which guests probably armed, is to display their collateral. Maybe have a roll up banner. You've got more visibility within the meeting, but these one off membership, the annual membership Fay. There's also likely in in most situations that I've come across. There's a meeting fee as well, so you're also paying to attend each meeting you go to so you don't just think Well, I've paid my £500. That's it for the year. You may be paying another £50 or £10 or whatever it is to attend each meeting each event , and they're some of the groups that I know. They've looked very closely at the tax implications. If they're having a meeting over a meal, they make it very clear that what you're paying for is the the meeting. And the meal is complementary because otherwise you get into problems with the tax man. About what? What you're allowed to claim foreign what you're not allowed to plane for. But meetings are certainly in the UK, not a problem when you get down to refreshments that it's more sticky. So do check what's going on there with the organizer's. Finally, you may also know just have financial obligations. You may have obligations off. You must attend. Even send a deputy. You must bring so much business to the group. There are all sorts of other obligations, but networking is about relationships it's about giving back as well as taking. So actually it's It's not really surprising that you have to give if you want to get something in return. 5. Types of activity: we've seen that there are lots of different types of group different formats for groups. What I want to look at in this section is the type of activity that takes place at the events of the networking events. Um, first fall, they may be refreshments. Well, refreshments. They can go from a coffee that you buy at the bar yourself to a three course meal that is provided as part of the meeting. Andi, obviously, there is a very different dynamic, too. Going and getting a coffee and walking round a room with a coffee in your hand. Being sat down in a specific split place next to specific people. They're different coins off meeting. Um, he also my said coffee. Well, if the meetings in a bar it may well be that you fancy a beer or a glass of wine gonna have a little talk about refreshments and that in one of the later sections Just bear that in mind. You may get 1 to 1 sessions now, Oneto. One session is where you meet one of the other people in the room and you spend maybe 10 minutes exchanging information. So it's not this superficial. Just exchanged business cards. Move on. It's much more. Metea's a conversation. It still doesn't have to be a sales pitch for, and one thing to remember about the Oneto one is that it is a two way conversation. If you've got 10 minutes, if it's scheduled and some some of these meetings, they will ring a bell after 10 minutes and tell you to move onto your next 1 to 1. Remember not to take eight minutes for yourself and leave to to the other person. On the other hand, if you listen for eight minutes, but only get two minutes yourself, you feel short, short changed. But bear in mind, we love people who listen to us. That person is going to go away with a really positive impression off you because you listen to them for 10 minutes for eight minutes or whatever, so it doesn't have to be negative. You may get a chance to give a 62nd pitch. We're going to talk about the pitch in a later session, too. But bear in mind that if there's a lot of people in the room that may be cut down to 40 seconds, so even if you got it prepared. You may need to adapt. And if you are at a networking event on your panicking, you're thinking I've got to do a 62nd pitch. Well, everybody else is in the same boat. There are also expecting to hear it. They're listening. They're here that they're there to hear you. To find out what you've got to sigh. Some groups will offer a facilitation session or a training session. Maybe have a guest speaker. Sometimes this can be someone from the group itself. Or it could be someone from outside who's brought in Andi. It may just be a 20 minute session in the middle of the two hour networking event, or it could be a full hours training before the networking event officially starts. Now, if it's someone from within the group, often the rules are that they're not supposed to pitch their own business. They're supposed to tell you something of interest they're supposed to tow hopefully of interest to your business. Um, not always. Sometimes it could just be general interest. Someone who does beekeeping in their spare time may come in and talk about these, um, these things that it is an exciting. It's an opportunity for you to tell a little bit more about yourself. If you get the chance to do one of thes facilitation sessions, people will learn more about you. As a person. We're back to the whole relationship thing again, sometimes is also a member spotlight. And here I think there's normally a little more opportunity to talk specifically about your business rather than just about a subject of general interest so that there are different focuses here. On that. You need to be clear what is being given in each each kind of section, some network events, the new speed networking, and you've got no time to do anything other than 62nd pitch, 62nd bit pitch exchange of business cards on on to the next one as soon as the bell rings. Now, obviously, this is no actually going to help you with building relationships. However, you've made that first contact you can then follow up. You can you've got some idea of who you've talked to that also, you keep your records, which we'll talk about later as well. You can actually find that that's a great way to meet a lot of people in a very short time . Many, many groups allow members particularly to leave out collateral on a table or to put their banner. There's a almost a little exhibition going on that's not always available for non members, so you need to know the etiquette of the group there. But there's a chance to go on but have a look and see a little bit more about what what else is around. And if you see interesting collateral, you then need to ask someone whose is this? Can you introduce me? So that's that's another thing that you'll see it. Events. Um, I think I mentioned before that you might get a tour of the venue, particularly if it's a conference center or hotel with conference facilities. There won't won't show you what they can offer for your future, your future events. But sometimes it's not just not just a conference type tour. I've bean on tours off Guildhall, a cathedral, all sorts of more touristy tours as part of networking events, which could be very, very interesting but not so useful for leaving you time to talk to people. So again, you need to think about what your priorities are there. And another section that you'll find at meetings is referrals and testimonials, particularly after everyone in the room has had a chance to do a 60 seconds 62nd pitch. Then there will be an opportunity, often for people to say that they've got a new interesting contact that they could pass on even if they hadn't had a chance to talk to everyone in the room. You may hear something and think, Oh, I know someone who might be interested in that business and so you can make a referral like that. And also there's a chance, then to give testimonials. And there's nothing better than sitting in a room full of strangers on one client of yours and hearing your clients say what a lovely customer experience they had and how well you treated. Hm. It brings us back to that relationships, you know, that everybody else in the room now feels a lot more confident about the possibility of working with you because you've got this personal referral from someone else in the room. So these referrals, these testimonials all very, very important 6. What's your motivation?: in this section, we're going to be looking at, why your networking and what you want to get out of it. Because if you aren't clear about having some kind of goals, then you won't actually know if it's being effective. And although if you haven't started networking yet, you may actually feel quite frightened about it. You may think it's something you never going to want to do. Actually, when you start, it can become fun. And then you have these almost social activity and it becomes a habit. And you're just enjoying yourself so much that you stop wondering whether it's actually off any use, auto or not to your business. So it's important to take stock of what you're trying to achieve. So if you're a seasoned networker, take a step back now and think about it. What do you motivations again? Are you actually doing it because you enjoy it, or is there a riel goal involved? So why do you network First of all, the the simple raising awareness, raising your profile, raising your brand awareness, getting out there, letting people see you associate you with your business here, your business name, see your business logo. Hear more about what you're doing about your product, your services, the general raising of awareness, particularly at a local level. This can also be raising your awareness in the community showing that you are a part of your local community, that you're involved in different activities. These are very important things for particularly for the smaller businesses, perhaps, but also for larger businesses to show that they have some kind of community conscience and are visible. The other thing? Well, another thing. Meeting people. We've said that the networking is all about relationships, so you're out there to meet people. And who are you going to meet? Potentially, You're going to make customers. But it's not entirely about the people in the room being your customer, is it? It's about if you've got 20 people in the room. They've all got dozens scores, hundreds of contacts. So if they know you, you've actually got access to their networks. So remember, although you may want to make a sale, really, you're interested in building relationships to be able to sell beyond the people in the room, so we've got potential customers, potential collaborators as well. You may find people who can work with you. You may find people who you can see something that you can add value to what they're doing . These collaborations and synergies can be very, very much a part of networking, and you'll also be looking at your competitors. You may be in a room where you've got direct competitors in there. Andi, you know what? You'll be looking at them. They'll be looking at you. It's not a problem. You'll find out more about them, and this could actually be quite helpful to discover more about your own unique selling point. No. Two businesses do things in exactly the same way. No two businesses offer exactly the same services. So by meeting your competition and getting to understand them better, they're going to be ways that you can identify and say This is what we do differently. There's also going to be times that you'll say, you know what they're doing that, and maybe we can do that, too. But that's not necessarily how to pursue that. They're doing that. We're doing this even with your competitors. You may find synergies, so don't rule that out completely. You can also use networking for market research for raising awareness off of, UM, put up launch or if your pre product you actually investigating whether it would be a good product launch for a new service. Whether it will be interesting, you can do your research in a room full of people who already know you who have some idea of what you do. They may be good people be trying out new ideas on. And if you do have a new product, you may be able to get beater testers in the room. You may be able to give out coupons or encourage these potential potential customers thes other networkers to take up a new offer in exchange for giving you feedback in exchange for giving you reviews and testimonials. All of that's useful other ways of using the people in the room. One final thing, which I think some people use networking for is recruitment. Isa Um, sometimes you find people who are looking for a new job will come to a networking meeting, not so much necessarily to see if they can work the get a job at the companies that are there, but to discover more about what people in different sectors dough about the kind of activities. Andi. How they would approach those companies or maybe bigger companies in the same sector. So you will find people there who are looking to change employment. Oh, others who are looking to take on new staff. A swell. The thing to remember is that there were all these different motivations there many, many reasons for going to networking. And whatever your reasons are, they aren't going to be the same as everybody else is in the room. There will be people who are there primarily to sell. There will be people who come up to you and say I do this. Can I have your card? I'll send you a price list. Andi. Personally, I don't think that that's what NETWORKINGS four doesn't mean that nobody uses it that way, though. 7. Be prepared: Now we're going to talk about some of the things that you should do before the event. Obviously, there is always preparation before you do anything, but there are some very, very specific things that I'd recommend first fall. Of course, you've got to locate the event. There are lots of networking listings online. You can get in touch with your local chamber of commerce or chamber of Trade. You can approach professional organizations and find out if they're running any events. There are all sorts of ways of finding out about what's going on, both locally, nationally online and having found the event, you need to know a little bit more about it. It's really important to know whether you're going to be walking into a room, which is just informal Alan Structure, or whether it's going to be a sit down meal, whether you're going to be expected to do a pitch. So try and find out as much as you can about the format before you attend Andi. There's a housekeeping housekeeping element here. If you need to book some events, it doesn't matter. Anyone can turn up, but if you do need to book, make sure you have booked, make sure that you've asked for any specific special needs you may have. If it's a meal, it's actually really embarrassing for everybody. If you're sitting at the table when everybody's being served but you need a special diet on , you haven't requested it, so it's going to take a long time to prepare. Now, almost every venue can cope with special doctrine AIDS now, but they do like to know in advance. So make sure whether it's access, whether it's diet, whatever it is that you need. When you book for the event, make sure that you've asked for it. If you're going to be able to give a pitch of the event. If will normally you'll know whether it's going to be 60 seconds. You get 42nd slot. You need to have something prepared. We're going to look at the pitch a little later in one of the later sections, but just bear in mind. But walking into a room with no pitch prepared is not a good idea. And even if it isn't actually part of the structure of the meeting, I've bean to events where sometimes the hostess stood at the front and say, Oh, let's just hear from a few people around the room and if you get a chance there, leap at it. If you've got something that you know that you want to say if you're prepared nothing that could be really difficult because you can't get involved. You can't expose your business as well as you'd like to remember to make sure that you've got you've got business cards to take with you. Onda other collateral. Perhaps that's something that may be appropriate. Only four with the collateral. Ladies, Everybody needs business cards, but it may only maybe the members who can use the collateral put it on a table. Um, doom or sales. The things so do find out what the etiquette of the meeting is, But just in case you can make sure that you've got some with you just on the off chance it's going to bay possible to distribute it. And if one of things that you're doing is advertising are launching a new product or giving information about on event that you've got coming up, maybe you're giving a workshop. You want people to to come to it. You want people to tell other people about it. Make sure that you've got flyers with you again. Check whether it's appropriate. Don't just assume that you can go in and do hand out leaflets about everything, because in a lot of groups they will say this is something only for members were not here to sell. Just be aware of fact. Another thing I think about the people who are going to be at the event when you book. Often you get the option to share it on Facebook or share it on Twitter. Find out the event hash tag. Follow the hashtag tweet that you're going to the event. Look on Facebook and see who else is going to pay their follows. Um, like their page. Get involved, get the ball rolling, get something happening before it. Actually, the event takes place. And if there's someone that you think really was, wish he was going. I thought it would have been there kind of event, and you can't find them on the list. Well, invite them, just drop them a note saying, I saw this and wondered whether you'd be interested or I wondered whether you'd be going and we'd get a chance to talk that even if they don't go, that could be a good way of reaching out to someone with something potentially useful to them, which is always a good way to start a conversation. Now, um, the other thing to do is to set goals and targets we've already talked about. Why your networking, but at each specific event, it's good toe. Have specific goals. What do you expected? Do? How will you know whether that morning or that our that lunch time was well spent, You could plan to talk to X number of people that you've never spoken to before. You could challenge yourself to walk out of the room at the end of the morning with a number off contacts with Oneto ones planned with, um, specific meetings where you're going to spend more time over coffee, just generally getting to know each other, getting to know each other's business or even a specific one or two, uh, actual. This is a meeting that we want to talk specifically about, a particular project about a particular possibility for a collaboration. If you try and put numeric goals time, say so many conversations, so many Oneto ones so many concrete leads, you'll be able to get an idea which of these events that you're going to, which of these groups that you're attending are actually being worthwhile. Then you're not wasting your time. You're not wasting your money. You're not just going along for the coffee. 8. Maximise opportunities: We've already looked a little bit about what you should do before the event, how you should prepare for the event and in this section we're going to look at while you're actually at the event. Obviously different. Different events. Different groups have different dynamics, and so they're going to be different things that you have to dough belt. Really, there are some ground rules. For a start, be prepared to step outside your comfort zone. This is networking, and you're going to have to talk to strangers. For a lot of people, that's a very frightening thought. But if you remember that everybody else in the room is also there to network, so you know what they're frightened to. At least some of them are, and you can welcome them by. You can make them feel more comfortable by approaching them and talking to them. And quite frankly, if they don't want to talk to you, they're in the wrong room. It's a networking event, but that's not your problem. So don't worry too much about Remember what we've said about it not really being a sales pitch that you're going to be doing here. It's the start of a relationship. It's getting to talk to all the different people in the room or a number of the different people in the room and beginning to build a relationship, which will give you access to the people that they know. So it's not the hard sell. It's a general beginning of a conversation at all times. Remember that you are representing your company. Whether you're the owner of the company, whether you're an employee, you're going to be handing out a business card, which has got your company name on it. And what have you look like? However you behave, whatever you say is going to be associate ID with that name, that company that brand. So there are different things, like dress dress code. Obviously, some events are very formal, and if you turn up in jeans, even if it's what you would normally wear, it's gonna be a bit awkward. But that doesn't mean that you have to wear a bow tie. You also have to bay true to yourself, true to the image of your company, the sorts of people who I mean, if you've got tattoos, you're not gonna wear long, have long sleeves to cover them up because you're actually, if you do it work all the time, then maybe you would. But what I'm saying is that if that's who you are, you really want to be meeting people who are prepared to do business with you as you are. It's relationships. So don't don't be false because it's gonna go sour in the future. Even if it the beginning, you can keep up an appearance later on. It's all going to go sour now. A lot of events of food and drink food. Well, as we said before, just make sure that you've ordered your special dietary needs or whatever. If it's a buff, I, um, remember scholar Ahora, whose mommy told her that she should eat before she went to the walks, his barbecue because she wasn't supposed toe pick down everything that was available at the barbecue, it wouldn't create a good impression. Yes, it's an old story, but you know what? The person who's always standing next to the barbecue or next to the buffet eating and checking whether there's anything left in that last bottle, they get a reputation for it, so be aware that other people will remember, you may not be driving home, but there will be people in the room who are driving home and therefore don't drink any alcohol. So if you're the one who's drunk, the whole bottle of wine that nobody else wanted that's going to have on effect on how everyone else in the room perceives you again with meals. Who do you sit ways? One of the limitations, perhaps off ah, formal sit down networking events is that you can only talk to the people next to you opposite and maybe the people next to them. You've really got a limited number, maybe five people that you'll get to talk to while wall a meal is in process. Now, if you've gone with a colleague, it isn't a good idea to sit next to your colleague. If you've gone with a client, it's not the best idea to sit next to your client. If they're sitting on another table while sitting somewhere else and they can say all over there, that's someone I do business with. That's gonna be good. It will be spreading the word to a place where you can't get access because you're stuck over here talking to these people. So be aware. Try and sit next to someone new, Try and start this conversation with someone new at the table. And when it comes down to being open to conversations, body language is very, very important. You need to be open. You need people not standing there with your arms crossed. You need people to want toe. Come and talk to you because you look as if you'd like to talk to them. Sometimes at networking groups, you get two people standing on their standing straight on to each other for having a very clear we're talking to each other. Conversation. It's difficult to interrupt those, but if you sort of angle yourselves, you make it easier for other people to come and join the group. And that's a good thing. If you're in one of those 1 to 1 conversations, even if it's interesting, perhaps it's not the best place to be having that conversation. Because even if it's your indicating by your body language that you don't want to be interrupted, someone else is gonna say, Heck, it's a networking. I'm gonna go and talk to those two people and you might be just about to make a sale. Just about to really catch the interest of this potential client or discover something really, really useful. Start an incredibly interesting collaboration on the moment's Gone because someone walked in on your conversation. So at the event, try not to get bogged down in those conversations. Try and say, if this is going really interesting, it's going really well. Let's take time out. Are you around after the meeting? Can I come in and see you tomorrow? Get a date in the diary and take it to a more appropriate situation? Don't try and do everything in the networking event now. We talked before as well, in the preparation of trying to see who was going to the event. Maybe there's an attendance list. Even if you couldn't find out beforehand, you often get in attendance list when you arrive. Take a few moments to scan it and see if there's any company that you know that you want to talk to anyone there any person whose name you recognize and you want to talk to them. Maybe you don't know what they looked like if you haven't checked them out on LinkedIn first, maybe you. We've got a room full of people that could be anybody. Ask your host. There's someone is organizing that event and really, that's part of their function to facilitate these interactions. So go and say I just like to talk to some. So, um, and your host will hopefully introduce you or maybe say, Well, they haven't managed to come, but they can still give you contact details. Now, remember about exchanging your business carts. One of the things that I've seen so often at networking events is come to the point where you say, Oh, have you got a business card? And you take yours out of the pocket and handed across and the other person fumbles and says, 00 no, that's one I've just been given and they juggling these business cards, they're about to give you somebody else's. They try for men. Perhaps it's easier they have these big jacket pockets you can have. These are the ones that are mine. These are the ones that I've just been given and keep them in separate pockets for women. Rummaging down at the bottom of your handbag for that crumpled business card doesn't create a good impression. So do be clear that you've got business cards in good condition, easily accessible and separated from the ones that you've received at the event. Again, we mentioned the collateral coupon codes, fliers about upcoming events. Maybe you can believe them on a collateral table. Check with the host. If this is appropriate, maybe you can hand them out again. Make sure you've got them easily accessible on you. Don't have to say Oh, I've left in my bag in the coat crew. Go fetch one. You've lost the impetus at that moment. So try and walk into that meeting with everything in the right place. Now, how do you start a conversation? We've said everybody in the room, Theoretically, is there to network? You don't know anybody, so you walk up to someone on What do you say? I think my very first networking event, the first person who walked up to May said Hello? What's your US pay? It was horrendous. It wasn't that I didn't know what my US pay waas. It was just I wasn't prepared to picture at that point, so try not to do that instead, easy conversations Have you come from a long way away. How was your journey? Did you have problems finding the place? Did you have problems? Parking? Where did you park? I couldn't. I had to go around six times and parked on a double yellow line. Anything will exact just a ease in and start this relationship building. Then from then on, try for open on open questions. Try and allow the other person to speak. We all love being listen to, well, love talking about ourselves, which means that if you're prepared to listen to someone, they're going to get a good impression off you. So instead of saying do you do this and the answer is yes or no? How do you do this? How do you cope with this? Tell me about that. It gives the other person a lot more scope. It allows them to to bring in other ideas and broaden the conversation again. So open questions, not closed questions. And then what about ending the conversation? You're stuck in one of those interminable conversations where that person is directly in front of you. Their body language is saying that they don't want anybody else to interrupt you. Well, it can be difficult, but it's a networking event. You're not there for long conversations. You're there to meet people and start the ball rolling. So other than the usual, I just have to nip to the loo. Four. Oh, I've just seen someone. I really have to catch that person. I've been meaning to speak to them for a month, and I can't find them. That's always good, But there's a simple fall back on. You know what? This is a networking event. Let's go and mingle. You know, let's exchange cards and let's network. That's what it's about. Don't feel shy. Don't feel that you have to be the person stuck in a corner trapped by someone else. Move around the room. Talk to as many people as you can. And if you do want that conversation, just make sure that you have taken that person's comment that persons business guard. You have got their details and they know and they're willing for you to follow up afterwards. One final word of warning about what to do and what not to do during the event. Don't bad mouth anybody. After all, you may only just have met the person you're talking to You don't know who they know, but whether or no, it's someone that they know it just doesn't create about doesn't create a good impression. Don't gossip. Don't talk about your clients except in a general way. You may not even want to name your clients unless you've got their permission. But more than anything, don't bad mouth anybody. 9. Follow up and follow through: We've talked about preparation before the event. We've talked about what you should do during the event logically. Now we're going to talk about what to do after the event. First of all, remember that network is about building relationships, so attending one single event hardly constitutes networking. There's a lot more to it than that going to an event, picking up a pile of business cards, going back to your desk. That won't get you very full. So other than the fact that you can, if it's a regular meeting, you can attend Mawr events of the same after each specific meeting, you should some alone follow up. Maybe with those people you already know just dropped the money email saying Lovely to see you again, but specifically with those people who were that there for the first time that you spoke to for the first time. Whether or not you feel that you have ah built a strong enough relationship with them, too, invite them to connect on LinkedIn is a personal thing. Some people want to have a much stronger relationship before they will connect with someone and linked in, but certainly follows him on Twitter. Find out what they're doing on Facebook. Get involved. Make yourself memorable. Just put yourself back in front of them again and they will remember who you are, and hopefully they'll follow you back. Follow up. If you didn't manage to arrange anyone toe ones, you can still phone up or drop an email saying we didn't talk for very long. I wonder if we could have another conversation and dig a bit deeper into what we're doing. Find out how we could work together. So do do aim to try and get some longer, more more in depth conversations. But remember, when you have phase that it's an exchange of information, you're not just their toe sell what you do. Sell your company or product your services. You're there also to find out about them. You may know that you are never going to use their services, but you never know when someone you know, potentially even one of your clients, Saiz. Oh, I'm looking for someone so well such a such, and you can put them in touch. And if you can help your client beyond what your business does, this is another plus point. This is another reason why your clients going toe Want to continue working with you? We mentioned the social media. Check them out. Follow thumb. Retweet tweet. A lot of people will tweet pictures of networking meetings if you're featured in one off. Um, make sure your part of that conversation Recognize that this is how people are doing business and you need to be involved. Um, if you you've collected a number of business cards, you can have a specific in tow email interchange with these people. You also might think about adding them to your newsletter list. Now I have reservations about that. This there's a certain implication that if I've given you my my business card, I've said that it's okay to contact May. That doesn't mean that it's OK to put me on a newsletter list that you're going to send me fulfill my my in box every day of the week with something new pictures of cats. No, If it's really relevant to business, then perhaps it's OK, but it doesn't do any harm. Just toe drop from an email saying I'd like to do this. This is the kind of newsletter I send out. This is the frequency it will only be once a month for once a fortnight. It's focused on this. Is it OK, I know that your newsletter will have a an unsubscribe button, but it doesn't reflect well on you if you send out a newsletter and you get 50% un subscribes because you put all these people that you've met for two minutes at a speed, even two minutes at a speed networking and you've put them all on your list. So be very careful about that. Another thing to do after the event, of course, is your record. Keeping that pile of of cards actually put it into a former where you can access the data, put it into a format where you can find it, make notes, make notes if you can remember that so and so had just got back from a holiday in the Himalayas. Well, you know, know what? Next time you meet them, you'll be able to ask them if they went anywhere else. Interesting. I didn't. You'll have this much more personal relationship. So do make sure that you're keeping records not just of the business conversations you have , but also the personal information that you can add in and finally review your goals and targets. Remember that you planned that you were going to talk to so many people that you'd never met before. Well, did you? Did you set up those oneto ones? If no, go back to that pile of email that parlor business cards, pick up the phone, send out an email and make those appointments. Now it isn't too light. If there were people on that list when you went in and you were given a list of her 10 days and he said, I really want to talk to so and so they weren't there, Reach out to them. Now say, I'm sorry I missed you. Did were you there? And did I just not find you? Or did you not managed to attend? Tell them something about the meeting. If they couldn't make it. It's all about relationships. That's what networking is 10. What is a pitch?: in this section, we're going to be looking at the 62nd pitch. In most networking events, you get the opportunity to address the whole room. It's not always that format, but frequently each person around the room has just 60 seconds in which to tell the other people in the room something about themselves now. Eight. A very important time, and it's terrifying for a lot of people. I think one of the reasons it's terrifying is once again it's a public speaking moment. You're talking to a crowd of strangers. It's also terrifying because you think the clock's ticking and I've got to tell them my name, the business name, everything we do, our products, our services, what makes us unique, what I want them to do for May, what I could do for them. My biggest success stories. Oh, and I must remember to tell them my name again before they forget it, and there's no way that you can get all of that into 60 seconds and have anybody have hurt anything. So perhaps it's a misunderstanding. There are better ways to use that space of time now. There are whole whole books and whole courses that have been written about the page. This is only going to include some of the essentials festival. We talked about it as a pitch. We call it the elevator pitch at times the elevator pitch from the hypothetical scenario that you step into the elevator off the lift, as I would call it and they're with you, is the person who you've been trying to get in touch with, who hasn't picked up the phone. You've had to deal with all the gatekeepers. And there you are. He's there. She's there, captive audience, and you've got just that short time in the elevator between floors. Teoh, get across your idea. You don't waste time, then you make the most of every second. Now I think that comes from the original story was set in Hollywood, where the person in the left was the film producer, and you wanted to step out of that that that elevator with a film deal. Obviously, this is slightly different. It's your business, and I think it could be a bit confusing to use the word pitch, although you do use it because pitch, we think it's selling on what you're trying to do here isn't necessarily to sell. We've made it clear that Networkings about relationships. So what you're trying to do is to pique the interest of the other people in the room, give them just enough information that they want to know more. You want them to come to you and say, We need to talk a bit more about this. That was interesting. I want a oneto one and then in the Oneto one, you'll have more space and more time to actually get into details. So things to remember the three key points of pitching your 62nd pitch are Be brief. Be memorable, be relevant. Just mention one more thing about that brevity because, as I said, one of the opportunities is to speak to everyone in the room. Perhaps 60 seconds, perhaps if it's a bigger crowd than usual. 40 seconds. Some groups do. They have a different format. You're sitting around a table, perhaps with eight or 10 other people, so you're talking to a reduced group, and then you might have a little bit longer. So it isn't always a 60 seconds. But even if there's no one watching a stopwatch, brevity is important. Don't overrun. Don't make it. It's all about May make sure everybody else has their time. Make sure that you leave them wanting more. That's what you're aiming to do with your 62nd pitch. 11. The content of your pitch: So the pitch your 62nd picked is the opportunity to present yourself and your business to everybody in the room eight A very brief opportunity. You've got to make it work. The important thing to think about then is what do you want people to take away from it? What are things that they have to know If they're going to want to follow up and they're going to be able to follow out, Obviously they're going to need to know your name, your business name. They're going to want, have some idea off what it is you can do for them. Not just what you dough, but how you convey. Benefit them. So how you help your clients, how you can help the people in the room and also how they can help you. We'll have a look at that a bit further on. So when it comes to your name, that's very important. Your business day, your name and you don't want it Get lost. So you don't always need to to start with your name, you may start somewhere else and put your name in in the middle. Certainly try and end up with it because we know that what happens at the beginning. People are still shuffling their papers, waiting for you to start at the end. You've got their attention. That's the point that they're going to remember to write down your details. Now, then maybe in a group of Internet working group, there may be three different companies that all ostensibly do the same thing. Labels are useful. You can label yourself as an accountant. But if there are two other accountants in the room, why you? Why would they care about which of you they deal with? So you got to get through to them. What makes you unique, what it is that differentiates you. That's where you need to be focusing focus on benefits, not features what it is that will help the people in the room, not what it is that you think is important. Often we are too focused on our own side of things too focused on Oh, I can do this and I can do that. And I can do something else when in fact, what clients want to hear is these are your problems, and this is what I can do to solve your problems. The benefits to them? No, a list of things that you do now. So that goes back to the how you help people and, if possible, focusing on the people in the room. Sometimes it helps to tell a story. Say, last week I got a client who was really worried about this Andi. Then this week, that's all happy, you know, that's all. Solve these off on holiday, and he doesn't need to worry about it because we've just on this for him. This is my name on my company on what we do for him, what we did for him. We could do something similar for you. So if you launch into this kind of human story, you give a riel example. It's much more likely to pull people in on. Then you bring in your company name and your name afterwards and they'll be listening. They'll be wanting to hear who it is. Who's done this Now. The other thing to do there at the um, probably at the end of your pitch is to say how the people in the room can help you. This is your opportunity to recruit a room full of salespeople, a room full of referral people. People who have some idea what you do. If you have a 1 to 1, they'll have more idea. But people who will be telling other people about your business, so tell them what it is you need to know. Do you need to, um, are you looking to get into a particular company? Are you looking to deal with local schools? Are you looking to deal with a particular sector? Other people in the room may have contacts, which will be useful to you, but if they don't know what you need, they can't help you. So don't be afraid to include your ask here what it is you need them to do to help you. We said be relevant. So if something was said earlier on, if you had a little seven our little presentation and you can use that as a hook for what you're trying to say, or if there was something in the news that morning that you can use as a hook, then that will make you more relevant. More topical on, perhaps more memorable. But don't let it waste your time. Don't use 30 seconds of your 60 seconds trying to find some some difficult on twisted way of connecting to what was on the news because that's just wasting the little time that you've got. And of course, we said Be brief. So if you only need 50 seconds even better, make it round, make it complete. Sit down and you're dumb. Be brief, be memorable, be relevant. 12. Presenting your pitch: we've talked a little bit about the content of your 62nd pitch, and now we need to look more the presentation. Everything you've ever heard about public speaking is probably relevant here. All the things such as making eye contact, standing up, Yes, not looking at your Crip Shayt engaging with everybody in the room, using your hands posture, all of this, anything that if you've ever done any public speaking, all of those techniques can be reused in this situation. Now one of our keys was be memorable on the presentation is one of the things that will make you memorable. I've seen people start their pitch by reaching into their briefcase on getting out. Some fruit is starting to juggle. I've known other people who start by singing just a fragment of a song. Ah, one woman kicked off her shoes and stood on her chair. Now all of these things make the memorable. But to be perfectly honest, I can't remember the pitch because what they were doing was not connecting with what made the memorable that dramatic entrance. I remember the person, but what was said afterwards was there was no connection. The man who juggled the oranges, Didn't say I'm an accountant and I can help you juggle your figures. Um, there was nothing there to connect it. So don't try and have just a gimmick unless it's relevant. Remember the whole thing about posture? Now it's going to depend on the network event the way that the room is organized as toe. Quite how this happens, how this weather If you're sitting down around a big table, whether you each stand up whether you stand up and walk away and go and stand in particular space, maybe there's a little step there that you gives you a little bit of height. So try and take your cue from the people who are familiar with the event, the ways that things are done. But if it doesn't work for you, don't feel afraid to do something slightly different, which doesnt mean standing on your chair necessarily. But remember not to waste too much time over that, And if you do stand up and walk away, don't start your talk until you've stopped turned round and are facing any everyone again. So make sure that your way you need to bay Andi, you can see everybody okay? Depends on the building. Maybe there are pillars that you can't see everybody, but try and make yourself as visible and make it as possible, as it can be to see everybody so you can make eye contact and include the whole group. So stand to if you can work without a crib sheet, it's probably better if you need a crypt with the essential points. Well, that's not a problem. There are times that there are things that you really want to make sure you you've remembered. Maybe you're announcing a date of something. An event that's coming up I knew really won't have it written down. You're probably going to remember it, but if you don't remember it, you don't want to have to fumble for your diary. So the crib sheets Fine. What really doesn't work, though, is a script that you need to read every word off. Of course, that's the easy way to time it right? You know how quickly you read the script, but you will no doubt have your head down. Looking at it on that is not going to engage with the people in the room so prime prepare the key points that you need to cover and practice. Practice, practice, practice. Practice in front of your webcam or your your phone camera and watch yourself time yourself and make sure it fits into the 60 seconds that you're expecting. However, remember to be flexible. Remember, you can take your cue from something that was said earlier, in which case your marvellously practiced presentation is gonna go out the window. And maybe there's more people in the room than were expected, and you're going to have to cut it down, so flexibility is also K. Be brief, be memorable, be relevant and be prepared to be flexible. 13. Summing up and moving forward: we're more or less at the end of the course now, we started off by saying that successful business is built on relationships and that people do business with people. I hope that you've seen how networking offers you the opportunity to meet more business people and to start to build those ongoing relationships that lead to successful business. We've looked at all sorts of things through the course. We've looked at the different types of group that there are the that the different formats and the different ways of organizing the activities that you will come across in the different events. And also don't forget the different motivations that not everybody in the room is going to be there for the same reason that you are. We looked about preparation you can do before you go to an event and things you can do after an event to follow up to make your networking more effective. We also looked more closely at the events themselves on how you should that the network etiquette of how to behave at different meetings Andi also very specifically the 62nd pitch . Remember, we call it a pitch, but it isn't a sales pitch Because networking is about building relationships, not making sales to the people in the room. It's starting to connect with those people on the people beyond the room. Now there is so many different networking organizations and so many different formats of groups and events that there's bound to be something that suits you and is useful to you. So if you go to your first meeting and you hate it, that doesn't mean you should stop. Even within a single organization. The different groups will be different because it's all about people, and the people in the room are who will make the group work or not, and will make its dynamic work for you or no. So to be prepared to try several different groups until you find the one or the ones that makes sense for you. One last thing to say about the course is that remember, there are a number of resource files available to download and these complement and complete the video lectures. So if you haven't downloaded thumb, I do recommend that you go back, you download them and you read through them, and you may find a few things that weren't in the video lectures. Or you may just find this a good chance to review the material in a different format. I think then that's all that's left for me now is to say thank you for joining me on the course and good luck with your networking on with your business ventures. Thank you.