End of the Financial Year: Networking | Small Fish Business Coaching

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End of the Financial Year: Networking

So it’s the end of the Financial Year and the start of a new one. There are a million articles floating around about this particular event. So I have decided to write about something completely different.

Networking!




Do you or does someone in your business participate in a regular weekly organised networking event? It just so happens that I do and I really love it. I am about to become the President of my chapter (no its not a cult as my wife likes to refer to it as) and I am really excited.

The benefits to my business through networking have been amazing. In fact 60% of my clients have come from networking. It is an extremely cost effective form of marketing and it allows me to build trust, expertise and relationships with people that become advocates for my business.

I meet with like-minded business owners on a weekly basis for breakfast. The meeting starts with 20 minutes of open relationship building and catching up with new members and visitors. We then move into a formalised sit down breakfast with an hour-long agenda driven meeting. Each participant has the opportunity to stand up for 60 seconds and give his or her elevator pitch. The specific intent of this pitch is to ask other members for referrals and to provide them with enough detail so that they become your external sales team.

The middle of the meeting provides a 10-minute timeslot whereby a member presents his or her business to the group. Every week sees a different member present and this is an awesome opportunity to be innovative, demonstrate value and deliver your sales pitch to the group. It is an excellent way to be interactive with 20 plus people in one room whilst they are intently figuring out ways to help you get more business.

The tail end of the meeting allows for every member to officially pass referrals, state how much closed business they have won from the group that week and record how many one to one sessions they have had with chapter members that week in order to get to know one another even more.

So what? Big deal. What on earth has this got to do with Business Coaching?

He is the exciting part. I am about to become the leader of approximately 25 people that will all be actively seeking business opportunities for ME! Not because I forced them to with threats of violence, but because I have become an active member of a group whereby giving is about gaining. I now have a team of sales people working to promote my business with true intent. They are a sales team with integrity, with substance and with care for me as a person. This is possible because I participate with energy, passion and drive to help my fellow chapter members.

How much does this cost? It costs me a nominal annual fee and it costs me time. But the return on my investment has been massive!

If you are not networking because you are scared of the prospect of putting yourself out there or because you don’t have the time to add another something to your list or because you don’t think it would work for your business then I suggest you rethink your options. Not only could this be good for your business but it too could possibly be good for you as a leader of a business! Members are constantly giving testimonials about their improved presentation skills, their confidence in growing their businesses with the support of chapter members and most importantly their ability to form lasting relationships that transcend business.

My aim is to have our chapter passing $1 million in business by the end of 2012. That is certainly an exciting proposition for a group of businesses that are passionate about new business, new clients and increased revenue.

If you would like to know more, drop me a line. Happy to discuss the opportunities related to networking in more detail and happy to help you make the transition to a networking event near you where I can.

Happy networking and go get some seriously warm leads!

Simon Thomas
Small Fish Business Coaching Belrose
www.smallfish.com.au

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