Local businesses turn to networking for success

Monday 12th November 2007 01:21pm
By Networx Brisbane

Jodie ParkerThe old adage ‘it’s about who you know, not what you know’ is ringing true in Brisbane as businesses increasingly turn to networking events to source new clients, meet valuable contacts and combat labour shortages.

Iceberg Events Managing Director Ms Jodie Parker said after only two years coordinating the popular networking event Networx Brisbane she has felt the full effects of this shift with attendance figures doubling to100 individuals per event.

“I’m proud to admit I’ve relied entirely on networking to grow my business and the success of Networx Brisbane is a testament to the fact networking really works,” Ms Parker said.

“Our clientele range from small business owners to corporate executives, but they all have one thing in common – the desire to succeed – and networking events are often the catalyst for this success.”

Ms Parker said the biggest networking challenge faced by businesses and individuals alike, was understanding how to network properly.

“While there are no hard and fast rules to obey, I do have some tips to improve your networking skills.

“Firstly, be courageous and make the first move; don’t wait for the other person to come to you as, more often than not they won’t.

“Secondly, don’t be a snob - be open to conversing with anyone in the room, no matter what their employment background and you might be surprised by what they can offer your business.”

Ms Parker also suggested focussing on making a few, meaningful exchanges instead of trying to meet everyone in the room.

“The most successful networkers have a ‘how can I help you’, rather than a ‘what can you do for me’ attitude.

“Many people make the mistake of treating networking like a job interview, but the reality is, no one wants to hear your sales pitch within the first five minutes.

“You’re more likely to have success if you pay attention, seem genuinely interested in what the other person has to say and try to offer a helpful suggestion, or referral, whenever possible.      

“And finally, make sure you have plenty of business cards on you at all times. No matter how engaging your conversation may have been neither party can follow-up without swapping contact details.”

Ms Parker also had some tips for choosing the right networking event for you.

“Expect to pay anywhere between $55 and $155 to attend a good networking event but don’t be fooled into thinking the more you pay, the better it will be,” she said.

“Sit-down breakfast events often cost more but I have been to plenty of poorly organised sit-down breakfast that are not worth the paper the invite is printed on. 

“My advice is to do a bit of background research into the organisation hosting the function, its guest speakers and the topic of the event. If you find you’re not happy with the results, don’t attend the event.

“At Networx Brisbane, we aim for informal, yet informative, networking events that don’t cost the earth.

“We provide practical workshops and interactive panels, with handpicked guest speakers to ensure you get value for money and the best networking experience we can possibly provide.”

Networx Brisbane holds functions every month, the upcoming agenda and is listed at www.networxevents.com.au.

 

For further information or to arrange an interview or images please contact Trina Phelan at
LapePhelan Marketing Communications on 07 3368 1650.

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