Networking Is Definitely Not ‘Not Working’! It’s Worth


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In this ever more fast moving, interconnected ‘social’ world, face to face networking is still seen as a critical marketing tool to UK businesses. So much so, that it generates an estimated £9.45 Billion of business for the country’s small and medium sized businesses!!!

That’s according to a new report that suggests that people still like to see ‘the whites of people’s eyes’ before doing business with them. The report says that when it comes to marketing, many UK entrepreneurs feel that ‘old fashioned’ methods work best:

When asked what they consider to be their most important tool when it comes to marketing…

  • 25% say it’s their website
  • 32 % say word of mouth/referrals and…
  • 21 % say their business cards

Ok, the report was produced by MOO, who are business card ‘experts’, so, it is likely to highlight the benefits of ‘face to face’ marketing, but I think it does highlight a number of things:

Marketing is marketing! Our definition is it’s all about ‘Finding, attracting and keeping the customers that you want and maximising your profits”

  • It’s EVERYTHING you do to make that happen – online and offline.
  • It’s about establishing a mix of activities that helps you achieve your business objectives
  • It’s about identifying what’s actually working and what isn’t

Face to face networking clearly is a powerful way of marketing for lots of us. However, I suspect that many businesses approach to ‘networking’, is actually ‘notworking’. Why is this?

Mainly because people are doing it because they think they should be rather than actually working out why they should be doing it and how they can maximise it. I see many people going to as many ‘network’ breakfasts, lunches and dinner meetings as they can without giving it any real focus. They get fat, but their business doesn’t!

So, how to get the best out of their ‘networking’?

I believe that the same principles apply to online ‘networking’ as they do to ‘offline’. The benefits, of word of mouth and ‘word of mouse’ online are huge.

Here are a few of those principles:

  • FIND and CHOOSE the networks for you – the ones that will help you achieve your goals and targets (tip: make sure you’ve got some goals and targets!)
  • IDENTIFY ‘key influencers’ – better still….. BECOME one by…
  • CONTRIBUTING and ADDING VALUE to them – provide introductions, signpost people and help others
  • Regularly REVIEW and EVALUATE their effectiveness – Be prepared to stop attending a particular network if it’s not ‘delivering’ for you!

The winners when it comes to ‘networking’ are those that proactively take the lead, get involved, contribute and ‘stand out from the crowd’ – just like in any other form of marketing or business development.

If you want to take a bit of time out to evaluate your approach to networking, feel free to download this FREE toolkit – better still, add value to your networks and forward it on to them!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Andy Hanselman
Hi there! I help businesses and their people create competitive advantage by 'Thinking in 3D'! That means being 'Dramatically and Demonstrably Different'! I research, speak about, write about and work with businesses to help them maximise their sales and marketing, their customer service and their customer relationships.


  1. Without taking a position here, I wonder whether you’ve asked yourself this question: What is the correlation about what customers SAY in surveys, and what they actually do in terms of purchasing?

    I really dislike the bandying about of ridiculously high numbers — as in the 9.45 billion you mention, or as another example, the claims that companies lose x bilions of dollars due to customer service faults. We need a bit more thought about these, methinks.

  2. Robert

    I think you’ll see that I did actually highlight the fact that the report was produced for a company that wants to promote business cards.

    As for the figures, of course, they can’t be verified, but if extrapolating them likes that serves to a) highlight an issue and b) gets people to think and question what they’re doing, I don’t think that’s a bad thing – I think it’s a bit more powerful than ‘networking might be ok’ – but that’s just my view.

    The key thing for me, as I pointed out in the article is that people should question and evaluate their own networking, and in fact, marketing as a whole and then work out what they need to do to get the best out of it.


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