Business networking skills

Business networking skills – overview

This workshop will provide participants with the insight and skills to be more effective business networkers, face-to-face and online.

The approach taken is to build on the strengths people already have and their successes. It is easier to develop what you already have than to try and develop skills that do not come easily. Being yourself is the most effective tool for business networking and building relationships.

Full details below or download course outline.

Learning objectives

This course will help those attending:

  • Appreciate the importance of networking, and different forms of networking
  • Understand the dynamics of communication that are specific to networking
  • Become more confident and assured when ‘working’ a room
  • Improve their influencing skills, especially with people who are experts and in positions of authority
  • ‘Sell’ themselves and promote their company
  • Identify and manage their profiles using online social networking sites
  • Use effective follow-up to maintain active contacts and connections
  • Select the correct networking groups, clubs and events
  • Create their own personal network
Course format

A highly interactive one-day programme involving:

  • High quality presentation and structured approach to learning
  • Many practical insights and methods
  • Individual and group participation, including role plays
Special features

This programme can be tailored to meet your specific requirements. Course participants will be asked to share relevant examples from their own personal experience.

Expert trainer

Graham specialises in providing high-quality consultancy, coaching and training in sales, sales management, customer service and personal productivity. He is a very impressive networker himself and is closely involved in running a local business networking group. He also has a long career in sales and was a top-performing IT and solutions sales professional and sales manager. His most recent full-time role was as Managing Director of Sales Productivity and Development for Thomson Financial, helping develop a large European sales force.

His work has taken him all over the world and involved him in working closely with hundreds of different organisations from all business sectors, his client list including such organisations as Connells Estate Agents, BT, Vodafone, AT&T, Orange, Pfizer, GSK, Boots, Unilever, American Express, Thomas Cook, Apple, Sony, Motorola, Cisco, MFI, Barclays Bank, LIFFE, Abbey National, Prison Service, Home Office, Law Society, BBC, Daimler-Chrysler, Citroen, Weetabix, Nikon, Shell and many, many others. In addition he has written over twenty books published in several different countries, including Companies don’t succeed – people do!, 90 Brain Teasers for Trainers, Customer Service Games for Training, Sales Training Games, Telephone Tactics and Working Smarter.

Known internationally as both a trainer and a popular motivational speaker, he believes that effective learning has to be interactive and challenging. All his learning events are built around practical exercises, role play and case studies. His training style focuses not on just explaining new ideas or developing new skills, but also on motivating people to use them and to develop themselves as individuals. This approach gets results, as the following comments from course participants show:

‘Brilliant course, really interesting and very focused to my job role and day to day work.’

‘Took away some very good ideas that I can use every day… good examples too.’

‘Very confident in the subject, and amusing too. Made the course very interesting. A very clear sales model to use going forward.’

‘Full of useful hints and tips which I will apply to my job.’

‘Extremely well presented and structured’

‘A very intensive course and a lot of concrete tools provided.’

‘Useful data, tools and insights; engaging and interesting as always.’

‘Very good… contained everything we do on a regular basis and problems we have come across… the exercises made it very interesting too.’

Business networking skills – course outline

1 The importance, and different types, of networking

  • Personal objectives and introductions
  • Test networking session
  • Examples of the importance, purpose and format of various types of networking, and benefits you can expect

2 How to work a room – preparation and strategy

  • Three things to know before you attend any event
  • Non-verbal communication and art of rapport
  • Breaking the ice – worked examples with practical demonstration

3 Communication dynamics in networking – the power of the listening networker

  • Why it is better to listen than talk
  • Effective questioning and active listening
  • Creating a natural and engaging conversation, 1-2-1 and in a larger group

4 Assumptions when networking

  • How to use the ‘instant judgement’ of others to your advantage
  • What assumptions are you making?
  • How to keep an open mind

5 Business networking etiquette

  • Meeting and greeting at a business networking event – approaching complete strangers and introducing yourself
  • Socialising: joining and leaving groups easily
  • Making a good first impression in 30 seconds
  • The use of status when networking

6 Making connections

  • Asking for cards, contact details and referrals
  • Gaining a follow-up commitment
  • Some tips and tricks

7 Business networking rehearsals

  • Practice sessions

8 Personal business networking online

  • Overview of different types of networking sites – there is a lot more out there than just Facebook!
  • Examples of creating an effective profile
  • Using social networking effectively – case studies and application
  • ‘Advanced’ applications – blogs, articles, twitter, feeds, etc.
  • Online demonstration and examples

9 Building relationships – follow-up and follow-through

  • Maintaining a good database
  • Developing a contact strategy with different types and levels of contact
  • How to analyse your contact base