New year networking tips to help you get your New Year off to a cracking start!

New year networking tips for business people who are planning to start networking or get better results next year.

If you want to be networking with purpose to get results then this is the blog for you.

The Christmas period is the perfect time for business owners to plan!

Plan With Purpose

It’s vital to plan with purpose, because focus provides maximum clarity. Newspaper clipping image about focus that results in maximum clarity when networking planning

It’s really difficult to hit a target that you cannot see, so set yourself clear goals about what you want to achieve.

Your networking goals are not just about the results you require in terms of return on investment in your business networking; it’s about what kind of networking is right for you.

Who do you want to be around?

Remember that you become like the people you spend your time with, so think clearly about this.  This will help you determine which networking groups or events are right for you.

Networking should provide a good support network, as well as referrals, so find a group where you click with the individuals there. Network with people who make you feel welcome and want to help you.

Finding other business people who have a synergy with you and your business is important, but you must never judge someone’s ability to refer business to you based solely on what they do.  It’s often the person you least expect who gives you the best referral that you’ve ever had!

What level of commitment do you want?   

Think about committing to attending a weekly, fortnightly or monthly networking group.  Perhaps this is perfect for you.  Alternatively, it may fill you with dread.  In which case, non committal networking events, that you can dip in and out of, may suffice.  However, do remember that like with anything, commitment is key.  All those other people who you’re networking with, will have an equal amount of commitment to you and your business, so chose wisely. Is it worth joining a networking group or not?  We’re all different, so you need to find the right networking solutions for you.  May be visit a few networking meetings and events to see what you think for yourself.

Where do you want to be networking?  

Depending on your business sector and the type of networking you chose, you may have to travel to attend in person networking events or meetings.  Set geographical boundaries and don’t go outside of those boundaries.

You’ll have to follow-up with people who are outside of your area.  It’s also likely that you will get referrals and introductions to people who are outside of your area, too.  Furthermore, if you’re attending a meeting regularly, you will want to give referrals to others, which can sometimes be difficult if you don’t have many contacts in that region.Map to indicate your geographical boundaries for networking when planning

Sometimes, if you’re networking outside of your geographical boundaries, this can be difficult.  This is likely to become frustrating for you, especially if you’re part of a networking groups that is referral based.  Even if you join a group, like BoB Clubs, that have pressure free referral networking, it may still feel awkward.

If, however, part of your marketing strategy is to enter new geographical markets, then it will be worth travelling and it will be a great way to build connections outside of your normal business networking circles. You’ll be surprised how quickly you will start meeting new people and building professional relationships.

Remember though, that it’s not just about the actual networking meeting or event, it’s about future connections and where you want them to be based, too.

Tell Me What you Want!

Your marketing and networking objectives must fit in with your overall business objectives.   If you haven’t yet defined your business and marketing strategy, do get in touch with me, because my mentoring service will help you massively.

When I’m working with my Better Marketing clients or Better Networking training delegates,  I stress the importance of knowing your customer, understanding about your target market and determining who you want introductions to.  We work through this together.  Whether you’re working with a marketing professional like myself, or you’re working alone on this, I’d urge you to make time to do it,  because it will pay dividends in the   end.

If you don’t know who or what your ideal customer looks like, then other people may struggle to help you with referrals.   So, take the time to work out exactly who you want to reach out to. After all being specific is terrific.

So, to quote the Spice Girls, “Tell me what you want, what you really, really want!!

This is a must new year networking tip.

You’ll know what’s right for your business, and if you don’t please do get in touch and I’ll be happy to help..

 

Sign post with different directions to show the need to identify your reason why you're networkingWhy Network?

Think about why you are networking and what you want to get out of it. Simon Sinek got it absolutely spot on when he said,” Start With Why“.

The most common reasons for networking include getting referrals, making new connections, getting recommended suppliers, meeting new people, having a support network, being with likeminded people and getting out of the office or home.

What’s your key reason?  This is important because your answer will help you decide on what type of networking is right for you.  Joining a networking group or attending ad hoc networking events, for examples.

When To Start Networking Planning

When to start networking planning, is something that I’m often asked, especially by clients who are already networking,  Here’s my quick  response…

If you’re new to networking, start planning now!

If you’re already networking, start planning now!

When now is a good time to start setting our your networking road map?

Don’t waste time, because making the time to plan now will help you get quicker results, better referrals and give you a target that you can see.

I hope you found this networking skills blog useful.

If you’re still unclear, by all means message me  and I’ll be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

If I can help with marketing or business networking do get in touch.  You will find more useful tips here  Better Networking Podcasts or other business radio interviews, it’s all here for you. 

Please leave your feedback and do let me know if there’s a blog or podcast topic that you would like me to cover and I’ll be happy to do this for you.

Very Best Wishes,

Tracy Heatley

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