Maurice is a dedicated networker both online and in person.

He subscribes to the ideas of  “Know me, Like me, Follow me”  and  “Open, Random, Supportive”

He can be found on:-

Business Scene
Business Biscotti Gold
SunTzu (was Ecademy)
You tube

and at

Spelthorne Business Forum
Business Advocacy Weybridge
Company Directors Networking
Business Networking in Chertsey
Business Biscotti (Chobham, Wentworth, Walton, Reading)
Blackstar First Friday

Here are Maurice’s thoughts on networks and how to network:-

• Networking is for people who like, and are interested in, other people.
• A Network is unlikely to be a marketplace for most things.
• Selling directly to a Network is unlikely to be successful unless, as in all products and services, there is a distinct and clear need (Business Cards and office consumables are good examples of need)
• People will probably not remember you well until you’ve met them or corresponded with them at least 7 times. Regular activity is everything – as are intensive 1-2-1 meetings!
• At a 1-2-1 (which should really last at least 1 hour) the objective is that each party tries to find as much out about the other party as they can with a view to knowing enough about them to be able to recommend them and their services to others afterwards.

Typical 1-2-1 questions might address, but are certainly not limited to:

• What they do and how they do it.
• Why they went into the business they are in
• Where they live and their interests and family situation.
• How much they charge and for what services.
• How long they’ve been in business
• What their marketplace is like
• What their problems and pain are.
• What they think you might be able to do for them
• What sort of contact they are looking for
• (Any other question that helps you get a really good feel for, or overview, of their business and needs)

Purpose of Networking:-

You are NOT trying to pitch a network for business! That is what you do in a Marketlace!

• You ARE trying to turn your contacts into referrers, product champions, recommenders and supporters – Oh, and, of course, friends, along the way!
• Reputation is everything and it should be borne in mind that everything you do, both in person and online, will effect your reputation.
• The Guang Xi principle generally applies to networking, especially in the Far east. This process is loosely as follows :-

In the Guan Xi process:
• First you meet someone by chance, introduction or serendipidy
• Then you meet more times until you know them
• Then you meet more times until you like them
• Then you meet more times until you trust them
• Then you meet more times until you are able to do business with them
• Then, after doing business for some time, you have the confidence in them to refer them to others in your network on a one to one and personal basis.
• In this way you gain Guan Xi because you made a useful recommendation to your contact, you also gain Guan Xi from the person you recommended and give Guan Xi to the person you recommended by showing that you can trust them with your precious and hard won network relationships.
• If you are recommended and you mess up the assignment or relationship, this places VERY bad Guan Xi on just about everyone and is very serious indeed. You must thus take extra care with those you are recommended to so as not to place bad Guan Xi on the person who helped you by referring you.

Other Networking suggestions:-

• Never go Networking without Business Cards—in fact never go anywhere without them.
• You can and should network anywhere once you get the hang of it – you don’t just network on line or at dedicated network events but on trains and ‘planes at tradeshows and conferences and many other places and events.
• Have your elevator pitch sorted out and practiced so that you can describe what you do in a sentence or two. A good template is “I specialise in helping *Job Title or people type* to * action verb and benefit* by *description of how you provide benefit*”.

For example:
“I specialise in helping Sales and Marketing Directors, and business owners, to improve their businesses by providing high quality marketing services”