Day 21 of F.O.O.D. – Using PEACH to network

I’ve chosen a PEACH of a subject for Day 21 of my F.O.O.D. Advent Calendar …. networking; a lifeline and survival mechanism in these challenging times.  Here are a few ingredients to help you.

Do your preparation. Turn off distractions. Practice your elevator pitch. And don’t turn up with your friends otherwise you’ll only network with them!

This leads on to events. Choose the events that work best for you and meet the objectives of you attending in the first place. Where are you most likely to meet your perfect client?

The biggest tip I can give about attitude is that you never learn anything about the other person when your mouth is open! Be curious of others. Remember that networking is a mutually beneficial relationship and if you get it right, you should be able to sell other people when you leave, and they you!

People buy people first. What are the characteristics that you demonstrate consistently? Are you sincere, authentic, respectful?

One of the biggest hurdles in networking is to feel confident entering a busy room. Ask groups if you can join them. Pick someone that’s standing by themselves. But remember to circulate. You are there to meet people

N is for networking

I don’t think we ever stop networking. With every connection we make we give an impression of what value we bring to the world and I don’t mean in a salesy way. Even if your connections aren’t looking for your skills in that moment, they’ll remember you and your passion for what you do – whether that’s in a good way on not!

When we make great connections it’s like recruiting our sales force. They become ignited by our love for what we do. Therefore, it’s crucial they know what it is we actually do, because if they don’t, they’ll never think to recommend us; a lesson I learned many years ago when I worked in financial services.

My mum has always been my biggest fan. However, it wasn’t until she was speaking to one of my team, by complete coincidence, that I realised she had no idea what I did! Since starting my own business, she has played a fundamental role in checking everything I put out to the world. If she doesn’t get it, no-one else will.

So the learning from this quote is to check with those closest to you to see if they can describe what you do with clarity and ease. If they can’t, change your elevator pitch or the words you use to describe what you do. You’ll be helping your sales team to sell the value you bring to the world, which is crucially important right now.

N is for Networking

Networking titleI was thinking that I should do N is for ‘now’ as those of you who know me pretty well will have experienced what I’m like for getting things done in the moment! I’m certainly not a person who puts off until tomorrow.  However I was an event last week and something happened that made me think I should actually use N to talk about networking.

The dictionary says that networking is the process of establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with other people. It’s the way we work to create, grow, use, assist and enable our own net of contacts. Networking is about knowing the right person to solve problems and provide services for you or your colleagues. And of course this can be either face to face or online.

When I first started out on my own, one of my main goals was to work with local small and medium sized businesses in North London. This meant that I had to get out there and meet them. I didn’t have a real plan, in fact in hindsight, I was a bit of a scatter gun. I went to breakfast meetings, lunchtime sessions and drinks after work. I even set up my own monthly networking meetings! I met some wonderful people and my contact list grew very rapidly, as did my waistline! Continue reading