Just ask

The Practitioner
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I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with business networking. Over the years I have gained a few clients - not my biggest, it has to be said - and made many friends and contacts in the local business community. But I have come to the conclusion that the fees earned don't really justify the quantity of breakfasts and lunches I have consumed, let alone the hours invested.

So it's time to pass on the baton to my up and coming team members. The one thing I will keep from all my networking is the ability to present the firm in 30 or 60 seconds to anyone, anywhere. Doing it every week certainly hones that elevator pitch! So that's what I want to get the rest of the team comfortable with: speaking to strangers, presenting the firm and themselves, making contacts, and - hopefully - finding that it can be fun too. That's the challenge to them. There's no pressure from me to come back with new clients, but I hope they will if only to make them feel like they have achieved something.

Another thing I'll impress on them is a lesson I was reminded of last week. I attended an open meeting of a well-known international business networking organisation. Towards the end we stood in turn to give a one sentence introduction to our businesses and to describe the sort of referrals we were looking for. Speaker after speaker came up with that lame request for just "anyone you know" or even "everyone you know"! I stood up and asked for a referral to a specific company on a local trading estate that I'd really like to get into. I was amazed that two members came up to me afterwards and promised to get me an introduction to that company's MD, and one phoned me the day after to follow up on the promise. So there you are - in networking it pays to go with specific goals and to ask for specific referrals!

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13th Feb 2012 07:22

Will start going

Thank you for another interesting blog.

I joined 4netwoking but have not managed to attend any of the meetings. This is because they interrupt my day 8am - 10am. It means I would get into the office late. Having said that the gains from attending may outweigh the downsides.

I will start attending 4N this week. Referrals would be good but another key benefit would be meeting people and exchanging ideas.

I will have to go easy on those breakfasts - small portions!

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24th Feb 2012 12:14

electronic payslips

Hi Folks,

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Employees simple use a PIN to access their payslips online.

No need to maintain employee email addresses!!






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