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.
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:
A – 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.
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.
Members and viitors to last Wednesday’s Southside B2B business network meeting were treated to a presentation with a difference in the National Yacht Club Dunlaoghaire.
Colin Byford of Byfocal Photography gave us a “fly on the wall” view of what it’s like in his studio when he brought this mobile studio along to the yacht club together with the very beautiful Christina Urban as his subject for the night. Colin used his 10 minute presentation to show the members and visitors what its like in a real photo shoot environment and then showed how he can enhance the photos on his computer, not that the pictures of Christina needed any enhancement at all.
Well done Colin and of course Christina for a very entertaining and enlighening presentation.
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. Read the rest of this entry »
Just to let you know that Noelle De Barra will be launching the new Miglio jewellery collection at her home next Saturday 8th September from 2pm – 5pm. All welcome to come along and view this lovely new collection, which will include fabulous belts and handbags. Enjoy a browse, a coffee and pick up a catalogue. I would be delighted if you can make it. Please feel free to bring a friend.
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.
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.
Reading through recent headlines, you might have got the idea that the Nursing Home Support Scheme (better known as the Fair Deal scheme) was closed to new business. Last year, it did temporarily freeze new applications and there are regular debates about how the scheme is being funded now and in the future.
But while there is a waiting list for funding approval, the Fair Deal scheme is still processing applications from people who need state assistance in paying for their nursing home care.
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. Read the rest of this entry »
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:
Google are always making improvements, that’s what makes Google – Google. Well they’ve made lots of additions to Google Docs over the last month and announced the addition of 450 new fonts users can add to their collection. In Google Docs, there’s a new menu item to “add fonts”; this brings up a new font management menu that displays many new options that you can add to your default set of fonts. Read the rest of this entry »
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. Read the rest of this entry »
The most important part of any online campaign is the call to action. A call to action is a simple request for your audience to take the next step. The easiest thing to do is use a “Buy Now” button, but you’re probably losing out on a lot of conversions if all you’re doing is asking people to buy. Other calls to action are:
No thought about what makes a strong pitch – people seem to think that just because they understand and believe in the business idea, everyone else will also – it doesn’t work like that. You need to really understand what makes a strong pitch – do your homework!
2. Use of complex jargon
Using complicated language does not make you look smart it just confuses the investor.
3. No research
Not having researched the profile of each Dragon/investor. It is vital that you know who the investors are and their possible interests/conflicts.
If you are not moving closer to what you want in sales (or in life), you probably aren’t doing enough asking
The gift called asking has been around for a long, long time. In fact, one of life’s fundamental truths states, ask and you shall receive. Kids are masters at using this gift but we adults seem to lose our ability to ask. We come up with all sorts of excuses and reasons to avoid any possibility of rejection. Yet the world responds to those who ask. If you are not moving closer to what you want in sales (or in life), you probably aren’t doing enough asking.
Here are 7 asking strategies you should be implementing into your business to boost your bottom line: (and remember – all these strategies can be used in others of your life as well)
Lots of people are telling me that Ireland has ‘had it’ that there are no jobs and no hope. In one way they are right. There are not as many jobs but what there IS, is plenty of work. Something that happened in Ireland in the tiger years was that we forgot how to sell. The business just walked in the door each day and we became a bunch of ‘order takers’. We forgot about a smile and a handshake and all the little customer service touches that made Ireland a great place to be, and to do business. So, my challenge to small businesses this month is :
WHAT ARE YOU CHANGING IN THE WAY YOU DO BUSINESS
IN ORDER TO GET SOME OF THE WORK THAT’S OUT THERE?
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.
The style of your presentation or speech should match several things, most importantly, your personality and your topic. The style of your speech comes across in your speaking manner, in your tone of voice, your body language and much more. For instance, you would not use the same style to convey salient scientific data as you would to inform your audience of the benefits of a new type of cosmetic. Your style should match your topic, your audience and your knowledge, as well as your personality. Implementing the correct style is vital to effective presentations. Know your audience, know your topic and know your strengths and weaknesses.
Introduce Your Product – A well-polished, well-rehearsed and informative elevator speech might just be the best way to introduce your product. If you meet someone for the first time and they want to know what product you sell, this is the time to burst forth with a tremendous elevator pitch and wow them. In situations where you need to introduce your product, your elevator pitch will likely be your first and best ally.
Product Definition – A good Elevator Pitch can really help when you’re designing a new product. During the design phase, it’s often helpful to create an Elevator Pitch for the product and then periodically check to make sure that you’re being faithful to the vision presented by the Elevator Pitch throughout the design phase.
All the Advertising and Marketing Gurus talk about positioning as the key to success. What do they really mean? The definition of positioning is ‘Placing your offering before a receptive and available market’. So what is positioning about? Is it just a shrewd instinctive guess as to what will happen next in the economy? A talent for identifying what the right place and the right time will be in 6 months or a year? Or is it about something else?
After what we have experienced over the past year to 18 months it would seem that most of the experts, on whom we relied for advice and leadership, were not so expert at all. In fact they seem to have made a rather large mess of things. My question to you is: What are we to do? We can sit there, listen to the journalists hyping up the problems and wait for something to happen or we can get on with running our business as efficiently as we can. Which will you pick?
The reality is that 90% of people still have jobs. And that means there is about 80% of the money that was here in 2007 is still available. If that is true then the economic problems are mostly about consumer confidence. Small Business can operate in a low confidence time because of the personal touch. I intend to use that personal touch to generate new business in 2009-10.
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" Thanks for letting me attend your meeting. I really enjoyed it
and made lots of great contacts. You have a really lovely group who have
such a positive outlook in these tough times. I do really appreciate all
the support PMVT has received from the group and individual members over the last year or so. Please will you pass on my sincere thanks to the group at your next meeting. Maybe see you at the Alternative Olypmics! "
~ Joanne Lindsay Martin - Fundraising Officer - Peter McVerry Trust