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Business Networking For Dummies

Book Description

Grow your business, build your career, find more customers, and build a valuable support network of likeminded business people.

Networking is a crucial skill for all professionals and business owners. Quite simply, it's a fast and effective way to build your business or career - and excellent networking skills will set you apart from the competition. Business Networking For Dummies shows you how to get the most out of networking - both online and offline.

With Business Networking For Dummies, you'll learn to:

  • Use business networking to grow and develop your business

  • Find the right platform or platforms to build your own network and 'assemble your crowd'

  • Pitch yourself and your business with confidence

  • Get the most out of face-to-face networking events - including valuable tips on presentation skills and sound bites!

  • Join up your 'real life' and online networking

  • Measure your networking success

  • Follow up with new contacts successfully

  • "This is a cornerstone book for anyone involved in running a smaller business and wishing to deploy networking as an enquiry source. It is clear, concise and provides a complete education for succeeding in, what is for some, a difficult environment."

    Ben Kench, Leading UK sales trainer and business growth specialist

    "I've read this entire book from start to finish and so should you because, when you know what you're doing, business networking does work, and by following the blueprint that Stef has set down for you: first you'll learn, then you'll earn."

    Brad Burton, Managing Director, 4Networking Ltd.

    Table of Contents

      1. Foreword
      2. Introduction
        1. About This Book
        2. Foolish Assumptions
        3. Icons Used in This Book
        4. Beyond the Book
        5. Where to Go from Here
      3. Part I: Getting Started with Business Networking
        1. Chapter 1: Getting to Grips with Networking Basics
          1. Understanding Business Networking
          2. Starting with ‘Why?’
            1. Noting the ‘why’ of networking
            2. Figuring out your ‘why’
          3. Talking to Strangers (Ignore Your Parents’ Advice)
          4. Knowing Who Uses Networking
          5. Realising It’s Not All Funny Handshakes and Old Boys Clubs
          6. Finding Networking Opportunities
          7. Following Networking Guidelines
          8. Networking in a Nutshell: Different Formats
            1. Understanding unstructured networking meetings
            2. Seeking out structured networking meetings
            3. Networking formats you’re likely to encounter
            4. Business networking and referral marketing – same difference?
        2. Chapter 2: Exploring Different Aspects of Networking
          1. Networking for the Employed
            1. Building your skillset using networking
            2. Meeting people in the same industry to swap ideas
            3. Keeping up to date with trends in your industry
            4. Meeting your next boss – career building and future proofing
          2. Networking for the Business Owner
            1. Promoting your business
            2. Finding trusted suppliers: Real-life Google
            3. Keeping up to date with trends in business
            4. Creating your virtual team: The future of business
          3. Networking as Marketing
            1. Clarifying your marketing aims
            2. Reaping the benefits of business networking
          4. Networking Meets Social Media
            1. Seeing the relevance
            2. Making the most of social media
        3. Chapter 3: Setting (Realistic) Expectations
          1. Recognising Why You Need to Set Expectations
          2. Thinking about what You Expect to Get Out of Networking
            1. Coping with your first networking event
          3. Knowing That Networking Isn’t Without Effort
            1. Keeping track of your schedule
            2. Being patient
        4. Chapter 4: Making Use of Networking Organisations
          1. Finding the Right Organisation for You
            1. Start locally
            2. Match your business to the prospect
          2. Finding Independent Networking Clubs
            1. Contacting your local chamber of commerce
            2. Finding local independent networking groups
          3. Joining Commercial Networking Organisations (in the UK)
            1. 4Networking
            2. BNI
            3. Business Scene
            4. FSB
            5. NRG
            6. Women-only networking organisations
          4. Coming across Co-working
            1. Co-working hubs
            2. KindredHQ
            3. Regus
          5. Specialist and Niche Networking Organisations and Groups
          6. Understanding the Politics of Networking Groups
          7. Running Your Own Networking Club
          8. Remembering Why You Got Involved
        5. Chapter 5: Networking at Trade Shows
          1. Knowing What to Expect from a Trade Show
            1. The Great British Business Show
            2. The Welsh Business Shows
            3. New Start Scotland
          2. Finding Local and National Trade Shows
          3. Making Your Trade Show Experience a Success
            1. Networking at trade shows, big or small
            2. Becoming part of the crowd
          4. Feeling the Need for Speed Networking
            1. Doing something different
            2. Following up
      4. Part II: Face-to-face Networking
        1. Chapter 6: Attending Networking Meetings
          1. Finding Time to Network
            1. Recognising that networking is real work
            2. Networking to suit you and your business
            3. Using your time twice
          2. Deciding What to Wear and What to Take with You
            1. Making sure that you understand the dress code
            2. Thinking about the impression you want to make
            3. Being prepared with business cards – and plenty of them
            4. Taking promotional material
          3. Knowing What Time to Arrive
            1. Checking the meeting timings
            2. Entering as an early bird or fashionably late?
          4. Calming Your Nerves
            1. Knowing why your nerves may be your biggest asset
            2. Keeping on top of first-time jitters
            3. Managing your nerves and appearing confident
            4. Knowing what time to go home
        2. Chapter 7: Making Connections in Open Networking
          1. Understanding Open Networking
          2. Introducing Yourself to People You Don’t Know
            1. Recognising that everyone’s in the same boat
            2. Choosing who to approach
          3. Making an Impression
            1. The handshake
            2. Starting a conversation
            3. Answering ‘So, what do you do?’
        3. Chapter 8: Nailing the Introductions Round
          1. Getting the Scoop on the Introductions Round
            1. Remembering that you’re trying to get the interview, not the job
            2. Avoiding the elevator pitch error
          2. Standing Out from the Crowd
            1. Preparation, preparation, preparation
            2. Think about what they might be buying, not what you’re selling
            3. Using soundbites
            4. Using props
            5. Understanding body language
            6. Can you hear me?
            7. Injecting your introduction with passion and confidence
          3. Rules to Follow and Things to Avoid
          4. Introducing Sample Templates for Your Introduction
            1. The attention grabber
            2. The third-party endorsement
          5. Remembering What You Planned to Say
        4. Chapter 9: Handling One-to-Ones
          1. Getting the Scoop on One-to-Ones
            1. Having a one-to-one with everyone
          2. Getting the Most from One-to-Ones
            1. Where to have a one-to-one
            2. When to have a one-to-one
            3. Asking open questions
            4. Are you listening or waiting for your turn to speak?
            5. Making notes to follow up with
            6. Taking notes like a pro
          3. Knowing What to Do After the Meeting
        5. Chapter 10: Breezing Through the Ten-Minute Speaker Slot
          1. Recognising the Opportunity
            1. Reaping the benefits
            2. Understanding stock value
          2. Planning and Preparing
          3. Looking at Different Networks, Different Opportunities, Different Approaches
            1. Using ten minutes to talk about your business
            2. Using ten minutes not to talk about your business
          4. Structuring Your Presentation
            1. Questions and answers
            2. Checking your timings
            3. Coping when the day comes
        6. Chapter 11: Following Up
          1. Following Up to Win
          2. Ouch! Dealing with Your Piles
            1. Making the most of business cards
            2. Using CRM systems
            3. Evaluating email marketing software
          3. Following Up Successfully
            1. Thinking about your follow up
            2. Being creative
          4. Reminding People about Your Business
            1. Asking for business
            2. Asking for referrals
      5. Part III: Networking Online and Using Social Media
        1. Chapter 12: Networking Online
          1. Introducing Online Networking
          2. Finding Business Networking Forums
          3. Joining an Online Community
          4. Becoming Part of Any Community
          5. Advertising is Okay (Sometimes)
          6. Calling First Means That You Often Get the Job
          7. Establishing Yourself as the ‘Go-To Guy’ in the Community
        2. Chapter 13: Using Social Media to Keep Relationships Alive
          1. Venturing into Social Media
            1. Realising that the times, they are a-changing
            2. Entering social media
          2. Winning Friends and Influencing People
            1. Finding common ground
            2. Forming meaningful relationships
            3. Going local, regional, national or international
            4. Joining in other people’s conversations
          3. Staying in Your Contacts’ Field of Vision
            1. Going beyond: Following up with social media
            2. Thinking business? Think personal as well
            3. Spotting easy referral opportunities
          4. Getting Maximum Value from Blogging by Hardly Writing a Word
            1. Curating information about your industry or profession
            2. Remembering it’s about conversation not content
        3. Chapter 14: Networking Using Different Social Media Platforms
          1. Choosing the Right Platform for Your Business
            1. Twitter
            2. Facebook
            3. LinkedIn
            4. Google+
            5. Blogs
            6. Instagram
            7. Vine
            8. Foursquare
            9. Pinterest
          2. Taking the Next Steps in Social Media
        4. Chapter 15: Joining Up Your Online and Offline Networking
          1. Acknowledging that People are People – However You Connect
          2. Finding Your Strongest Connections
          3. Meeting People Before You Meet Them
            1. Researching your prospects
            2. Listening online, then speaking on the phone
      6. Part IV: Turbo-charging Your Networking
        1. Chapter 16: Using Networking to Build Your Business
          1. Standing Out in Networking
            1. Putting in the effort
            2. Remembering that networking isn’t easy
            3. Engaging your brain and engaging your network
            4. Finding better ways to advertise than shouting to strangers
          2. Boosting Your Business with Personal Branding
            1. Learning from Evian’s posh bottles
            2. Being a product of the product
          3. Using Networking as an Excuse
            1. Getting to your ideal prospects using networking
            2. Using networking for businesses that can’t cold call
        2. Chapter 17: Building Networking into Your Business Strategy
          1. Circles Within Circles: It Isn’t Just About Who You Know
          2. Staying in Touch When You Said You Would
            1. Finding people to talk to
            2. Growing your network as people come and go
          3. Thinking Outside the Limited Company
          4. Building Your Virtual Team
          5. Settling Into a Routine and Knowing What Works for You
      7. Part V: Measuring Your Success
        1. Chapter 18: Networking or Notworking?
          1. Measuring your Return on Investment
            1. Recognising and recording the value in every meeting
            2. Finding the hidden value in networking
          2. Adjusting Your Mindset to Spot the Benefits
            1. Listening to your intuition
            2. Keeping an open mind
            3. Acknowledging that networking is always working
        2. Chapter 19: Revisiting Your Approach
          1. Using Networking as a Sounding Board
            1. Nobody’s asking you for a one-to-one
            2. Business is dribbling in
            3. You’re getting one-to-ones but nobody’s buying
            4. You view knock backs negatively
          2. Using Your Networking Contacts to Advise You
            1. Launching new products to your networking crowd
            2. Trying new pitches
            3. Tailoring your approach to your environment
            4. Discovering the secret to turning around your networking experience
          3. Keeping Faith with Networking
      8. Part VI: The Part of Tens
        1. Chapter 20: Ten Ways to Improve Your Networking Results
          1. Do More Networking
          2. Become Part of Your Group’s Team
          3. Volunteer for the Ten-Minute Slot
          4. Take an Honest Look at Your 40-Second Introduction
          5. Attend Meetings of Other Networking Groups
          6. Phone People
          7. Run a Mini-Seminar after a Networking Event
          8. Use Social Media
          9. Make it Easy for People to Buy from You
          10. Understand that Networking is Working
        2. Chapter 21: Ten Networking Gaffes to Avoid
          1. Talking Only About Yourself
          2. Overrunning
          3. Being Late
          4. Whispering during Other People’s Introductions
          5. Ridiculing or Disrespecting Your Competitors
          6. Adding People to Your Mailing List without Permission
          7. Judging a Book by Its Cover
          8. Not Following Up
          9. Treating Networking as a One-Off Sale
          10. Forgetting to Smile
      9. About the Author
      10. Cheat Sheet
      11. More Dummies Products