I was watching my middle daughter's sports day this morning.
And as usual I met up with Stuart who rents out an enormous building that's used as a nightclub in a neighbouring town. When Stuart and I get together we talk about ... business.
I find it fascinating, still, after more years than I can probably even remember.
To others it seems like it's just two people talking about work.
It is and it isn't. Because apart from a good story about the ups and downs of business life you can also pick up pointers to avoid mistakes or pointers to improve your own business.
I know when I go networking I see certain people straining at the leash to brain dump on everyone they can grab and say how their business "...can really help yours. Oh and by the way what is your business?" Yet what they should be doing is telling stories about their business. So they each learn from each other.
Networking should be relaxing, fun and the aim should be to help others in a similar situation to yourself. Because what goes around comes around. People remember that you've helped them - either with a supplier or a client contact.
The other point you really should bear in mind with networking is that each person you meet knows lots of other business people. People who may need your product and service. So avoid the braindump and go for the mutual learning experience and you'll both know more and know more about how your business can help people they know.
While we're on the subject of networking I don't attend those where you are pressured into providing leads each time you meet or the group is restricted to one of each type of company.
- I believe if you're put under pressure you'll give inferior quality leads that may irritate your own client and will definitely waste the time of the person you gave the refferal to.
- If you restrict a networking group you stop the different viewpoints that other companies in the same sector bring. That's better than trying to use a company that doesn't fit simply because they belong to a networking group.
Marketing, networking, business networking