Since becoming involved with the all women networking group ‘Ladies @11′ I have realised even more the importance of networking.
In my ignorance I imagined you turned up to a networking meeting and by chatting about yourself and your business it was quite likely that you might meet a potential client straight away. In my dreams maybe!! By hosting ‘Ladies at 11′ I have now realised that you need to be relaxed and open at any networking event. You are not only talking to the people in the room, you are talking to everyone’s network. I now appreciate the need to listen to each person and not immediately disregard them because I don’t think they could personally be a client.
During some recent research for a meeting I came across an article by Jonathan Farrington, CEO of Top Sales Associates. He describes the main benefits of effective networking to be these:
1. It is the most cost effective marketing tool available
2. Networking referrals will typically generate 80% more results than a cold call.
3. 70-80% of all jobs are found through networking
4. Every person you meet has 200-250 people with whom they connect who can potentially assist you.
I can relate to these benefits. I have already in my business infancy wasted money on ineffective advertising in magazines. A majority of my clients have been referrals or I’ve met them through networking. I can’t push the importance of networking enough but you do have to get a steady balance between working and networking. It could be really easy to physically network everyday leaving not much time to do productive work.
If you are a women in business and fancy a new dynamic and very welcoming local networking meeting do consider Ladies @11 - we meet on the 1st Wednesday of the month at the gorgeous Yvonne Arnaud Theatre from 11 til 1.
Come and try us out, we'd love to see you. www.ladiesat11.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org