Central London & The City

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Is Business Networking part of your Marketing Mix?

Wed 31 August 2011

In austere times we all knuckle down to endeavour to generate as much new business as possible.

Of course, at the same time, it’s fundamental that our marketing activities compliment the service that we have to deliver. It’s a juggling act.

Many businesses I speak with share their marketing activities with me – they largely focus around:

·        Sending direct mail or email campaigns

·        Creating postcards or flyers and doing ‘door drops’

·        Attending exhibitions / running events

·        Advertising online via Google Adwords (or similar)

·        Telesales

·        Press, tradepress or radio advertising

A mix of such activities are all commonplace in many a marketing plan – however, one lucrative and very effective marketing activity which is often ignored is ‘Business Networking’.

A high proportion of business is generated by others referring a product or service  – and so what better way to get your message out there, than by sharing your message with a group of likeminded individuals that are all keen to refer as much business as they can to you – effectively, a new team of advocates, that will help to market your business for you.

At our weekly BNI meetings in London, that’s exactly the philosophy we engender. In fact, BNI’s mantra is to share the wares of those in your direct ‘networking group’ before looking elsewhere. It’s about helping one another to directly generate new business – and as many of our BNI members around the globe can report – it’s a highly effective means of new business generation.

Successful BNI groups work together in this way – safeguarding their network by making direct referrals to generate an ongoing pipeline of business referrals.  Of course, the fact that each network has one ‘provider’ in each category – it makes the passing on of ‘leads and referrals’ very simple.

If someone you know needs an accountant, you refer to the accountant in your group, if someone is looking for a garden designer, you refer to the garden designer in your group (you get the picture).

So my advice to you is to include ‘business networking’ into your marketing mix. It’s an effective way of new business generation, a perfect means of meeting new people and forming new business partnerships.

For more information about joining a London BNI Group – simply contact me at laura.hurren@bnidirector.com





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