Behind The Magic Of Networking
Is a lot of preparation and learning ...
Posted on: 24/10/2013 By: Jacqui Frost
Some people find that networking transforms their business. It just works like magic! Others find it difficult and often give up before they have had a chance to see it work. Just like learning to be a witch or wizard, networking has some basics that need to be learnt before you can see the magic happen ...
Harry Potter was very lucky to have Hagrid to help him when he started at Hogwarts. When you start networking you may not be so lucky!
For some, attending networking events makes them feel a bit like Harry Potter launched into a fantastical new world. He has found out he's a wizard, living with Muggles and that he's going to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
That has to be a little overwhelming, but it's ok because Hogwarts have sent him Hagrid to guide him through the process. Personally, I'm not sure that I would be reassured by a hairy, half giant but then I'm not an 11yr old boy!
One of the other things that Hogwarts does is to send out a letter which includes a supplies list. It tells students about their school uniform, the books they will need and a variety of other equipment - all of which they should buy and take with them. This is not only very helpful, it is crucial to a first timer like Harry who has no experience of Hogwarts.
However not all networking events are so helpful. It can depend on who invites you; if they are a good networker they will want you to be prepared and will talk you through what to expect. But if you have found the group all on your own and signed up online, things are a different story. So, if a networking event were to send a list of things you should prepare what would it look like?
Enough Business Cards to go round
Map/Directions and details of parking
Some great networking questions
Other Equipment ...
Obviously, some of these items will need thinking about in advance but others can just be grabbed on the day. Those items easiest to hand are the ones that are most often forgotten - business cards and marketing brochures. To avoid forgetting them when I'm in a hurry, I have these packed ready in my suitcase (Genie Pink of course!).
So now you have your list, it's time to get packed and ready. Don't forget to smile when you arrive and keep those eyes and ears peeled as you never know what you might miss otherwise.
If you learn from the regular networkers and find a good group you can transform your business. I have built my business from networking referrals and word of mouth recommendations. As if by magic we have grown from one Genie with one client to 8 Genies looking after hundreds of clients every year!
I hope your networking will be as magical!
Until next time ...
THE OFFICE GENIE
I had a successful 20-year career as an office manager and personal assistant; however, my job was no longer focused on the customers and became all about the numbers. My customer-focused background began when I was 12 in my father's independent carpet showroom. I had a spell with Marks & Spencer before I moved into office-based jobs. I have worked as a training administrator, a PA and PA/office manager in a variety of industries from manufacturing to the IT education sector.
Meanwhile, my husband Ian, a successful Northampton based Master Decorator and owner of Rainbow Frost, was losing out on work due to missed phone calls. When he was busy, callers were getting his voicemail but weren't leaving messages. I knew how to fix that problem!
I quit my job and took on Ian as the first client of The Office Genie in November 2005. Word quickly spread with the second client coming on board just one week later. The majority of our clients since have come to us through word of mouth recommendations and networking referrals. Over the years, I have become well connected in Northampton and Milton Keynes.
Outside of work I enjoy swimming, roller skating, the theatre and my cats and dogs!