To network or not to network?
If you think that networking is all about eating terrible breakfast buffets and making small talk with boring business people, think again! It can actually be an amazing way of expanding your contact list with the right type of people and building lucrative business relationships.
We managed to grab some time with networking pro Richard Tubb and grilled him for his top tips…
- ‘People do business with people they know, like, and trust.’ This is still true even in a social media world.
- Going out and meeting people face to face and building relationships with people is still very relevant.
- I get a lot of start-up businesses coming to me and saying they have no marketing budget and asking how they can get their name out there, and I always say the same thing – get out there and network!
- Absolutely, yeah! I think business events generally have a bit of a bad reputation because most of us consider them as a bit of a drag.
- But the reality is that not all business networking is like that. There are some really cool events out there. If you’re not a morning person then skip the breakfast event and go to the lunch instead, if you like going out in the evening you can find plenty of evening events you can go along and have a nice drink.
- Networking can be whatever you want it to be, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to go along with the stereotypes.
- I would encourage you to do things slightly differently with business networking. Have some fun with it.
- Rather than walking into the room and thinking ‘is this a room full of potential customers’, instead think: Who can I help? Who will I get along with? Who can I have a good conversation with?
- There have been plenty of times that I’ve walked into an event and instantly knew that there were no potential customers for me but there were loads of people there with interesting businesses that I could introduce to my other contacts.
- It’s all about making good connections and relationships. If you can make some good introductions, then chances are you’ll receive some business back in return.
- If you don’t know which networking event to go to – just go to one, any of them.
- The value of this is that you will meet somebody on the same level as you and you can ask them which events they go to regularly, then you can build a list for yourself.
- The best way to find networking events is to go to networking events.
- The majority of people I meet go with the label approach, so they introduce themselves as a plumber, IT person, accountant etc.
- The problem with that approach is that the other person immediately shuts off because they’ve already built an image in their head of what the label is.
- I’m a big fan of talking about how you’ve helped somebody recently. You’re giving an example of the benefits you can give without putting a label on it.
- If you’re a bit of a shy person and you don’t like the idea of walking into a room and talking about yourself, then go in with a different attitude. Make the decision before you go in that you’re going to ask other people lots of questions about themselves, you’re going to talk less and listen more.
- What most people do is go to these events, exchange business cards with people and then when they get home those business cards sit somewhere gathering dust.
- The reality is that you can now follow up with people really easily and effectively on social media.
- What I like to do is start this at the event. So, when I’m talking to someone and have got their business card, I get my pen out and write a note on their card about what we chatted about and any actions I need to follow up with.
- This means that when I get back to the office, I’ve got some good memory hooks, so when I follow them on social media and connect with them, I can make it personal.
What is your top success habit?
Meditation. I meditate for 15 minutes every morning and it helps me work better.
Who do you look up to?
The authors I mentioned earlier are big inspirations to me.
What are your favourite apps right now?
Braintoss is great. It’s an app that lets you talk into your phone and it turns that into works and sends it into your email inbox for you to follow up with later.
Here’s the big one…who do you like more, Rob or Kennedy?
I’m indifferent towards both of you to be honest! – Very funny Richard!
Finally, where can folks go to find out more about you?
I’ve been blogging for the past 15 years now so that’s probably the best place to go www.tubblog.co.uk and I’m on all the social media platforms as @tubblog