Do you remember your first time?

Networking, I mean. Why what were you thinking about?

My first time networking as a business owner rather than an employee was an eye opener. I was a month into my life as an executive coach, and was very naive and green. All I knew was that ‘networking’ was going to magically help me find referrals, leads and ultimately new clients for my business. But, rather crucially, I didn’t know how!

I clearly remember being there about 40 mins early, and catching up on some phone calls in the car, before very nervously making my way in – and not wanting to be the first one there! When I scanned the attendance list at the chamber of commerce event, my heart sank – nearly a third of the list were coaches of some sort of description. Not likely to be any clients here for me...

There were so many ‘regular’ networkers there, who seemed to be totally at ease circulating around the room. I honestly knew no one, but had psyched myself up to ‘press the flesh’ so to speak. I wondered whether I would ever know enough people that I would be one of those few who seemed to confidently glide around the room.
Well, it wasn’t a wasted evening so to speak. In networking terms it was a failure – there is no one from that evening that I am now in close contact with. I also spent a large part of the evening talking to two other coaches... However, that evening was the start of a passion for business networking, in particular using both online and offline networking in tandem.

What do you remember about your first time networking?
 

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Introduce others    1 thanks

HudsonCo | | Permalink

Not my first event but I arrived once to find that the key speaker was another local accountant.

Instead of waving the accountancy flag I concentrated on introducing newcomers to others who would be able to help them. I made a few useful contacts in the process and was able to follow up in a more leisurely manner at a later date.

I usually find that I can make useful contacts and introductions on behalf of my clients and not just for myself.

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I help professionals, mostly accountants and lawyers become the Go-To-Expert. After joining BDO LLP in 2004, I have now almost clocked up ten years working predominantly with accountants helping them achieve their career and business goals. Unusually for someone with an Engineering Degree, I accidentally became a writer and used my knowledge on social media to write the current best-selling and award-winning book on networking, The FT Guide To Business Networking. (over 100 five star reviews on amazon) In 2012, the book I always wanted to write, 'How to make partner and still have a life' was published. In March 2014, my latest book, 'The Go-To-Expert: How to build your reputation, differentiate yourself from the competition and win business' was published. People frequently talk about me as someone who really knows her stuff – which may be the reason I have, over the last decade, worked with over 300 partners, coached and trained over 2000 professionals at every level of the UK’s most ambitious professional practices. 

I am honoured to have been asked to judge the British Accountancy Awards in 2011 and 2012. I am a member of the Accountant's Club Global Advisory Panel, and write regularly on practice management issues for CCH.

Myself, and Jon (my co-director) are approved Growth Accelerator Coaches. This means that we can if you are eligible, through the Growth Accelerator scheme, help you get some coaching funded by the scheme. Click here for more details to see whether you are eligible for the scheme.

Read how we have helped one of our accountancy clients access Growth Accelerator funding to grow their turnover by nearly 50% and profits by over 200%

The types of work I am currently helping my small professional practice clients with, includes:

1) Helping a £2m t/o practice grow to £4m by restructuring the firm and helping the management team step up 

2) Working with a £1m t/o practice to grow to £2m by generating more leads, and getting more work from existing clients

3) Enabling a £300k t/o practice grow to £1m by helping it sort out it's profitability by adding in efficient systems and processes, and increasing the quality of the  lead generation by marketing to a niche

4) Facilitating the growth of a one man band practice into a 3 person practice by helping increase the lead generation and conversion rate of leads, plus keeping the practice owner accountable to his goals.

The Excedia Group was founded by myself and Jon Baker to bring clarity, perspective and knowledge to help our clients achieve their business goals. We specialise in working with highly technical individuals, typically lawyers and accountants, helping them to get out of their comfort zone and build a profitable and sustainable client portfolio whilst handling the challenges of leading a business. 

My work splits into about 50% Executive & Business Coaching with Partners & potential partners, with the rest split between training, consultancy and writing.

My articles & quotes regularly appear in the press, e.g. FT, Guardian, Accountancy Age, Accounting Today, Economia, ACCA's publications. I regularly blog at Partnership Potentialventure-NowJoined up networking and How to make partner.

To book me for a speaking engagement please contact my PR Agency, Meerkat PR, on 020 8563 0182, and ask for David Stoch. For any other work related enquiries, please contact me directly.

My clients have included: Deloitte LLP, KPMG LLP, BDO LLP, Haines Watts, MSI Global Alliance, UK200 group, Macintyre Hudson LLP amongst others.