mutual benefits explored
Martin Wheadon offers Suzanne Locke more insights from his book Networking Thoughtfully:
q How did you become so good at networking?
a I was working as a senior business manager for a bank in the City of London, a 30-year career. I wanted a way for my customers to meet and do business together, so I started an afternoon club called The High Tea Club, offering coffee and sandwiches. I sponsored it myself so I would have the freedom to fail without being accountable to anyone. When I went networking, I invited people along, and thus fresh blood was infused. The club was discontinued after I left the bank.
You say it’s best to stay to the very end of a networking event – why?
Because I am quite introverted in social situations where I don’t know anybody, any time I stay to the end is a triumph. People often tend to be more themselves because you are more relaxed.
How should we prioritise contacts?
Separate into three sets. Gold: you both got on well and felt you could help and it’s just a phone call away. Silver: the same situation would need time to develop. Bronze: it was nice to have the conversation, but you don’t think you can help them at the moment, nor they you – but maybe in the future.
How can you possibly describe yourself and your business in seven seconds?
By understanding the very essence of what the company is and what it stands for.