Three Ways Social Networking Leads To Better Business

By Scott Hebner, Social Solutions Vice President, IBM

Are you networking? Have you tweeted something or updated your LinkedIn status this week? Liked or shared something on Facebook or Instagram this week?

More importantly, are you using social networking to learn, gain knowledge, engage with experts on what interests you? Are you sharing your knowledge?

If so, you are not alone. More than seven in 10 employed people are now active social networkers as Social Networking has become the Number One use of the internet. There are more than two billion social connections generating more than three billion expressions per day. Overall, we know that 94% of people use social networking to learn, 78% to share knowledge and 49% to access needed expertise. The effect? The human condition is being radically amplified.

Think about it.

Every time someone creates a social expression, more data is generated and shared. Think about all the data that’s out there: eMarketer says there are 1.73 billion using social networks and the number will rise to 2.55 billion by 2017. In fact, 90 percent of all data was created in just the past two years. And most of this new data is a new kind of data. It’s human data, providing rich insights into the behaviors, sentiment, activities and views of large numbers of people. We are witnessing the emergence of the “human face” of data and the unprecedented creation and sharing of knowledge.

Read the full story via IBM Smarter PlanetVoice: Three Ways Social Networking Leads To Better Business – Forbes.

How to use word of mouth to enhance your reputation

By Alan Bell

Referral marketing

When people think of referral marketing, networking is usually the first thing that pops into their minds. Going to events, working the room, telling everyone about how wonderful their product or service is and coming away with lots of business cards are considered the measures of success. However, this is misinformed and will only lead to a lot of time wasted and a giant stack of business cards.

True referral marketing is built upon mutually beneficial relationships. Rather than wasting time trying to speak to as many people as possible about yourself, having a third party there who can endorse you and your offering is a more powerful, often overlooked, tool.

When someone speaks on your behalf it adds credibility to your business, it implies a level of trust, and, most importantly, it removes the sense that someone is being sold to.

The rise of referral networks in Ireland in recent years is unsurprising. It is relatively inexpensive when compared to other forms of marketing – really the only cost of a referral is your time – and it works. However, these groups still only touch on the true value of referral marketing.

By learning and developing a strategy around your word-of-mouth activity, you can approximate the number of referrals you will receive in a given month and the value of those referrals.

There can be numerous and significant benefits to getting serious about word-of-mouth and referral; new client acquisition is an obvious benefit, but time and cost savings, vastly improved business relationships, a speedier sales cycle, and very noticeably an increase in the right type of client for you.

Read the full article via How to use word of mouth to enhance your reputation – Independent.ie.

Proper Networking Etiquette

This past week I went to a networking event geared towards entrepreneurs of all kinds in my local Baltimore area and was blown away by all the great people I met. From the tech field to charities and the food and beverage industry, there were great people doing great things in my community. When I left that afternoon, I felt confident that my time was spent wisely, and was quick to follow up on the contacts I made that day. I already have a coffee date scheduled with someone next week.

However, while at this networking event, I noticed that some people did not quite grasp the concept of proper networking etiquette. Some hung out against a wall nursing a drink, while others spent the entire time checking email, and of course there were those who threw around their qualifications as if it was a contest, yet no one was playing along.

So before you grab your “Hello My Name Is…” tag, check out my top 3 Quick and Dirty Tips for proper networking etiquette:

 
Tip #1 – Don’t Be a Wallflower
excerpt: When I got to a networking event, I go to… drum roll please…NETWORK! That’s the name of the game, folks. The event is your time to meet people with the same agenda as you and who are interested in getting to know what others are doing. Still, I’m always shocked when people act as wallflowers, too shy or too nervous to talk to anyone.

Tip #2 – Choose Wisely
excerpt: In my networking career, I have been to homeruns and I’ve also attended some foul balls. Nothing is more frustrating than waiting all week for a certain event only to find out it’s a colossal waste of my time.

Tip #3 – Don’t Sell
excerpt: The movie Glenngarry Glenn Ross introduced the mantra “ABC – Always Be Closing” into the vernacular of the mainstream business world back in 1992. It means that you should always be working on – and closing – a potential sale. And as much as I am all for doing that, it does involve a certain approach that if not done properly, can make you appear as the rudest person in the room

Read the full article via Modern Manners Guy : Proper Networking Etiquette :: Quick and Dirty Tips ™.

Showing Up Is Not Enough:

Five Ways to Get Better Results From Networking

Why do people avoid one of the most effective job search strategies?

For a lot of people networking is an unpleasant necessity of the job search. Much like the idea of public speaking sparks dread, networking causes otherwise confident job seekers to doubt their worth. They know it’s a good way to make key contacts for job leads and referrals. But, somehow, that understanding is not enough to get people out there.When I work with my clients, I always encourage networking as an essential job search and transition strategy. Whether it’s attending job fairs, networking events or informational interviewing, we work out a plan for incorporating this into their strategy. Without networking, it’s very hard to achieve any level of success in the job search.

If you aren’t actively networking, you’re likely wasting valuable job search time and missing out on opportunities. Here are five tips to help you get better results from your networking efforts.

via Showing Up Is Not Enough: Five Ways to Get Better Results From Networking.

7 Tips for Better Business Networking

Networking is one of the most effective ways to build your business. The simple truth is people feel more comfortable doing business with people they know. Building relationships with the people who can benefit from your products and services raises the likelihood of them one day becoming your customer.

sevenBut there are some definite dos and don’ts when it comes to networking. You can’t just throw your business card at people and expect them to do business with you. You have to put in the effort to building the relationship and earning their trust before you can expect to reap the results.

Here are 7 simple tips for better business networking.

1. Be yourself. Networking is about building relationships, and building relationships requires being genuine. You can’t expect to create a connection with someone if you don’t let them see who you really are. When you’re authentic, you begin to earn trust and create a strong network.

via 7 Tips for Better Business Networking.

The 4 Key Steps To Better Business Networking

I don’t believe in miracle solutions for career or business development, but if I believed in one, it would certainly be business networking.

I think your professional skills aren’t worth very much unless people know about them and they know about you. This is where business networking comes in.

As a communication coach, I’ve seen highly capable professionals who weren’t going anywhere because they lacked a solid network. I’ve also seen less capable professionals who were going places because they were doing businesses networking effectively.

Please notice the word ‘effectively’, since networking by itself is often not enough.

via The 4 Key Steps To Better Business Networking.

There’s Always Room for a Cup of Coffee …

When your life seems almost too hard to handle, remember the story about the jar and a couple of beers.

A philosophy professor stood before his class and started to fill a very large and empty mayonnaise jar with rocks.
He then asked the students if the jar was full? They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.
He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. The sand filled the gaps.
He then asked once more if the jar was full. This time the students were sure and they responded with a unanimous “YES!”

The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and proceeded to pour their entire contents into the jar — effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children, things that, if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car”.

The sand is everything else. The small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you”.
“Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”
And, It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a coffee”

Thanks for the contribution to Southside B2B Member:
Jason McChesney
Business & Personal Coach
Jason@businesscoach.ie
087 222 2000

Now that it’s all over, what next?

Ok so the SouthsideB2B Visitors night is over and what a great night it was too.

A very big thank you to all our visitors and hhat a great bunch of enthusiastic business people too.

Yes they came from far and wide to tell others about their respective businesses.

It was another great network meeting, lots of contacts were made and we had great fun while we were at it.

So whats next?

Make use of those new contacts you’ve made. Connect to each other through any social media platforms you are on.

Connect with the people you’ve met and keep in touch so they’re always aware of who you are and what your business has to offer.

Don’t oversell it! Most people don’t like to be sold to but would rather do business with someone they’ve met rather than a complete stranger.

So now that your all connected, get those connections working, some of them will turn out to be gold!

We always get requests after our visitor nights for the contact details of some of the people you may have met and want to contact again but have misplaced their business card etc.. Never fear!

So here is a list of most of our visitors on the night:

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SouthsideB2B Visitors Night 17-4-2013

It’s arrived! Today is the day of the second best Business Network Meeting of the year.

SouthsideB2B Visitors Night
17 April at 19:30
National Yacht Club Dun Laoghaire in Dún Laoghaire, Dublin, Ireland

Southside Business Network is holding another one of it’s now famous Visitor Nights. This is always a very successful event in terms of making new business contacts and very well attended with visitors coming from all sorts of businesses from all over South Dublin and beyond. Make sure to book your place by contacting any of the members. Places are limited so get in early and bring plenty of business cards.

Check out the event details here: http://www.facebook.com/events/170906113066325/

If you want to talk to a member before coming to a meeting please be sure to call Colin Byford ( 087 622 7186 )
or Paul Hayes ( 086 816 5588 )

SouthsideB2B Members Always Give 110%

I wish to record my appreciation and thanks to Mr Garry Ryan of GR Electrical’
On Saturday evening 26th January, myself and my husband had settled down to watch TV when
suddenly and without warning, it and various other appliances went blank As you can imagine we
faffed around the place trying to push various switches back but with no success.

I was little concerned as the deep freeze was on this circuit, so I phoned Garry and he was
fantastic, despite &e lateness of the call and that he himself was out socialising,  He led me through
various scenarios over the phone, explained clearly what he wanted me to do and how each step was
dependent on the next. I was able to follow Garry’s clear, concise instructions, isolating different
appliances and eventually, with his help, identify the cause of the blackout.

Garry said he would be in my area on Monday and would call and fix the fault. Garry duly arrived
and repaired the fault,leaving it in a much safer condition.
I would, again, like to thank Garry for his total professional approach. He put my mind at ease,
calmly explaining the various steps and allowing us to sleep easy, knowing that the problem would be
dealt with on Monday and there was no danger to anyone or anything in the meantime

Yours sincerely
Catherine Griffin, Print Pass

Google

The Benefits of networking

Benefits of networking

  • Networking always creates opportunities. Like it did for me last night
  • Sharing knowledge: Some people know about grants available etc that others wouldn’t be aware of for example. Something like funding entitlements can make all the difference to a business starting out.
  • Connections: Even if I don’t necessarily have a need for your product or service, I have family, friends, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews etc who might!
  • The people in that room will help you promote your service, by word of mouth after meeting you.
  • Building relationships.  relationships worth nurturing are as powerful as radio  .
  • I met three people for the first time ever who I had regular contact with on social media! Nice to put a face to the name.

What can YOU contribute?

Networking has many benefits, not the least of which are the great people you will come to build relationships with. It really makes for a pleasant experience.

We all enjoy this and have developed many great friendships. It’s always nice to have friends who have your back.

A couple points of caution:

As you build your network of friends always think about what YOU can contribute and how you can make the online life better for others.

Are there other benefits of networking or methods that have served you well that you would like to share?

Google

5 reasons people come to an event

What drives event participation?

For an answer to this question, I turned to my friends at Event360.  They have a great five-point model to describe event participation. (Get a free download here.)  A good event speaks to as many of these factors as possible. Here are the highlights:

1. Affinity to third-party group. Often participation in an event is not because of the activity or the beneficiary at all, but rather due to the efforts of an affiliated (or unrelated) third-party group. For example, individual donations to the United Way come mainly from corporate appeals conducted in the workplace; employees give out of loyalty to (or pressure from) their company. Similarly, many events use large corporate teams in which affinity to the corporation is the defining motivation.

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ABC’s of Networking (continued)

J – is for job security, which you will always have if you develop a good network.

K – is for keeping in touch. If your network is going to work, you have to stay plugged in and keep the wires humming.

L – is for lessons. The best networking opportunity I’ve had over the last11 years in business is Southside B2B Business Network.

M – is for mentors. In the best of all possible worlds, your role models can become your mentors, helping you, advising you, guiding you, even lending you their network as you build your own.

N – is for a nework of contacts. A network can enrich your life.

O – is for outgoing. Be the first to introduce yourself, lend a hand, or send congratulations for a job well done.

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ABC’s of Networking

If I had to name a single characteristic shared by all the truely Successful people I’ve met over my time networking, I’d say it is the ability to create and nurture a network of contacts.

I could lose all my money and all my business, but leave me my contacts and I’ll be back in business as strong as ever in three to five years. Networking is that important. The alphabet is a great place to start as you build your network – Organize your contacts from A to Z:

– is for antennae, which should be up every waking moment. Never Pass up an opportinity to meet new people.

B -  is for birthdays. It’s always advantageous to know the birthdays of you contacts and that’s getting easier with reminders coming from all the social media platforms your connected to.

C – is for contact management system. Have your data organized so that you can cross reference entries and find the information you need quickly.

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Making Positive Connections at SouthsideB2B

Southside B2B Business Network hold their visitors open night twice yearly and has proved to be a GREAT foundation for building relationships and business networking in general. Last nights visitors night was no exception.

The business network group is now in it’s eleventh year and last nights event, as usual, held in their home venue in the plush surroundings of the  National Yacht Club, Dunlaoghaire and was another great success in offering local, and not so local, businesses a great opportiunity to meet other like minded business people.

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5 Ways to Use Your Network to Grow Your Business

Have you ever looked for advice from the people in your business network? If not, you could be missing out on one of the secondary benefits of being involved in a business networking group.

The primary reason you network is to get referrals, but you also have access to professionals in amany other types of business and your network can become a type of “knowledge” group that you can tap into to get help with projects you might have.

Here’s an example – A small creative-services firm wanted to relocate across the country to somewhere with more business potential. But she became frustrated by her difficulty in communicating with a government agency. Her plans came to a standstill.
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Every professional needs to win referral business – heres some tips on how!

In Network Marketing terms new business comes from one of three sources:

  • Existing clients wanting more work
  • Existing clients recommending their friends and network
  • Referrals from Introductions

These  are probably the easiest and most cost effective ways of winning more business. However, all three of these rely on you as a professional service firm knowing how to get recommended, or  talked about and ‘referred’, to others.

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Southside B2B Members take time out on the Grand Canal Barge

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Photography courtesy of Colin Byford of www.byfocal.ie

The Southside B2B members all took some time out on Wednesday 4th July to enjoy a nice summer evenings “bonding” at their annual Summer night out.
This year it was spent on a wonderful canal cruise on a replica Guinness Canal Barge, MV Cadhla (a client of one of our members!).

We meandered from Grand Canal basin all the way up to Charlemont Place seeing Dublin from a different view whilst savoring some socialising over a few drinks & bite to eat.

A very enjoyable evening was had by all.

7 Great Networking Tips

1. Resist the urge to arrive late. It’s almost counter-intuitive, but showing up early at a networking event is a much better strategy than getting there on the later side. As a first attendee, you’ll notice that it’s calmer and quieter – and people won’t have settled into groups yet. It’s easier to find other people who don’t have conversation partners yet.

2. Ask easy questions. Don’t wait around the edges of the room, waiting for someone to approach you. To get the conversation started, simply walk up to a person or a group, and say, “May I join you” or “What brings you to this event?” Don’t forget to listen intently to their replies. If you’re not a natural extrovert, you’re probably a very good listener – and listening can be an excellent way to get to know a person.

3. Ditch the sales pitch. Remember, networking is all about relationship building. Keep your exchange fun, light and informal – you don’t need to do the hard sell within minutes of meeting a person. The idea is to get the conversation started. People are more apt to do business with – or partner with –people whose company they enjoy.

If a potential customer does ask you about your product or service, be ready with an easy description of your company. Before the event, create a mental list of recent accomplishments, such as a new client you’ve landed or project you’ve completed. That way, you can easily pull an item off that list and into the conversation.
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Another successful Meeting at SouthsideB2B Business Network

Last night visitors and members were treated to a very nice presentation by our Painter & Decorator member Brian Roche.
Brian told us how he started out in the business showed up some great slides of very prestigious work he has done over the past few years as a professional Painter & Decorator.
He’s worked for some very important people and his impressive slideshow was a little insight into “cribs” of some of the rich and famous.
Well done Brian.

As well as the members we had the pleasure of the company of:

Thanks to everyone who attended, helping our business network help your business make money.

Next Meeting: Continue reading

Successful Visitors Night at SouthsideB2B Business Network

Photography courtesy of Colin Byford of www.byfocal.ie

Every other week, a number of business people take the opportunity to visit the Southside B2B Business Network & their reaction is always very positive.


On wednesday night last we got the same reaction only better. The weather outside was blowing up a storm and from the comfort of our home in the National Yacht Club we could watch the waves crashing against the pier wall and the rain pelt against the window while we all met a whole bunch of new business people and do a little business networking.

That’s what it’s all about… Business Networking.

We didn’t quite match our usual numbers for a visitor’s night but despite the wintery weather donditions outside we did have quite a few visitors and everyone seemed to enjoy the banter on the night. So, a big thank you to all those who came along despite the weather. We really do hope you come back and visit again.
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Five tips for better Networking

1. Be genuine!

If you are not genuine then let’s face it, you are going to get rumbled surely at some point! When that happens you can take all the hard work and effort you have put in so far and flush it down the toilet. You do not want to be working with, associated or be seen as  a dishonest person, so why would anyone else want to be? Be honest with who you are and what you do, you will get more out of any relationships built on truth and not set yourself up to fail.

 

2. Deliver on your promises!

If you say you are going to do something, do it! This really relates to the above in some ways and is all about building trust. No point in setting a person’s expectations and then failing to deliver. Networking is similar to dating; you would not set a date for taking him/her on a lovely meal out, not turn up or call, and then still expect things to work out fine when you ring them days later.

 

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