I had a terrific one-to-one networking meeting in London last week with James Isaacs of BCR Associates. James also is Regional Business Director for Legal & General and is a very impressive chap. What struck me was James’s openness and genuine desire to help in advance of any reciprocation from my side. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with James and it brought home to me yet again the value of relationships, the importance of genuine win-win, and the importance of giving and reciprocation before receiving in a networking context. James and I both made a list of people to whom we can introduce each other. This was based on several factors being in place:
- Getting to know each other following an introduction from someone we both know and trust
- Finding common ground and frames of reference in the discussion
- Having a two-way conversation rather than a one-way monologue with one person pitching their business
- Building trust so that we felt comfortable in recommending each other to valued clients and contacts
There are of course many other factors involved but the above is a good baseline for effective networking discussions. Too often, I meet people at networking events that, to be brutally honest, have no idea how to do effective networking. It feels like they scan you up and down to see how much money you have that you can use to buy their services. They talk and talk about themselves with no interest in you. It’s like being stuck with the office bore at the Christmas party.
Some time ago, I wrote a blog about planning for business networking success. Two of the points I raised then were the importance of talking less / listening more and how to avoid the temptation to over-sell. I stand by those points. Networking is firstly about understanding the other person’s business and needs and finding a way to help them. They should do the same for you. If there is no reciprocation (in terms of listening as well as helping) there can be no shared opportunities.
If you follow this philosophy, you are more likely to find people that want to find leads for you. After all, what goes around comes around!
Of course, if you know anyone that needs to reduce business costs and wants to deal with a trustworthy and transparent service provider in this area, do please get in touch with James’s business on 0844 880 9834.
GSA is a London-based telemarketing agency with an office in Manchester. We offer telemarketing services and telemarketing training to ensure that you can hone your telemarketing techniques and deliver better results.
If you’d like to know more or book a new business development strategy workshop and find out how GSA Business Development can help Generate Growth for your Business, contact us now on 0845 658 8192 or send us an email.