4N - is it worth it?

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  3rd Apr 2018 - 13:35 3rd Apr 2018
Robert Schofield
Bold Truth

4N - is it worth it?

Hi

I'm starting to look at local networking groups, I'm based in Huddersfield.

Wondering who attends these meetings, are they all small business owners? My clients are generally larger companies with a substantial marketing spend... Concerned I might be talking to the local florist and a few personal trainers if I go to a meeting.

Any honest advice appreciated.

  3rd Apr 2018 - 19:33 3rd Apr 2018
Lee Rickler
Point and Stare

"Concerned I might be talking to the local florist and a few personal trainers if I go to a meeting."
The problem is this is the wrong way to look at networking, and in particular, the meetings.

Scenario:
We meet at a 4N meeting.
I run a small company but know, and deal with global corps.
I'm presuming you don't want a 121 as it'll just be me at the meeting presenting my small company?

You meet a florist who runs a small market stall over the weekend.
Of course, you'll not want to speak with her as she's too small.
Shame as her husband runs a global corporation.

Networking is marketing.
4n in particular is a great place to learn from other businesses, a great place to grow your connections and a brilliant opportunity to increase your suppliers.

or, let's look at it another way, are you 'a bigger business'?
I couldn't find any registered company/ VAT details for you.

  3rd Apr 2018 - 20:18 3rd Apr 2018
Eric Taylor
High Peak Creative.....

To get the most out of Networking, you first have to understand what Networking is... 

  4th Apr 2018 - 14:13 4th Apr 2018
Paul OrangeTree
OrangeTree Online

There are many pages of useful stuff about how to leverage networking to gain access to large customers.

But more modest sized customers who pay their bills are of equal value.

Of course, not everyone at every meeting is a potential customer right at that time.   But equally, not everyone isn't.

Networking builds.  It becomes cumulative.  You work with the people you meet to get to the people you need.  Who often turn out to be the people you meet. 

  5th Apr 2018 - 12:46 5th Apr 2018
Stefan Thomas
The Networking Retreat

I've been a 4N member for 11 years now. Clients I have won either directly from 4N or from referrals or indirectly as a result of my 4N activity are Lloyds Bank, Telecom Plus Plc (Utility Warehouse), Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Brethertons Solicitors, and many others. I've just signed up some personal trainers for some work with me which is several thousand pounds worth of work.

Remember that people don't go to networking events to be your customers, and the place is going to be full of small and micro businesses. If that is going to overly concern you then your time might be better spent elsewhere (you did ask for honesty).

I would get yourself along to a couple of meetings frankly, check it out and see whether it's for you. All the advice in the world from us lot isn't going to beat sussing it out for yourself.

  5th Apr 2018 - 13:11 5th Apr 2018
Chris Maslin
Maslins Accountants
Quote: Stefan Thomas (The Networking Retreat)

Remember that people don't go to networking events to be your customers.

This. Every one of us has been there, you go to a networking meeting wanting to sell to others, but those same gits keep trying to sell to you! Outrageous!

There is the "selling through the room" mantra. I think this can work, but only if you're either in a fairly memorable small niche, or you're really good at what you do. Eg if you met me and 3 other accountants at a meeting, and later a friend asked if you knew any good accountants, why would you mention me?

Is it worth it? Well, I was an active member for a couple years, and eventually decided that for me, no it wasn't. I have no regrets doing it for the time I did, but the time and cost started to outweigh the benefit I got. If you've got something better to do, do that. If you don't, then give 4N a go.

  5th Apr 2018 - 19:04 5th Apr 2018
Stefan Thomas
The Networking Retreat

Lee, Eric, Paul, Chris and I on the forum. It's like a school reunion! 

/as you were

  5th Apr 2018 - 22:48 5th Apr 2018
Lee Rickler
Point and Stare
Quote: Stefan Thomas (The Networking Retreat)

Lee, Eric, Paul, Chris and I on the forum. It's like a school reunion! 

/as you were

I went to the toilet ... when I came out no-one else was here 

 

  6th Apr 2018 - 15:32 6th Apr 2018
Alan Woolvett
Alan Woolvett Health...

I was a member and group leader for about 3 years. Did I get much business out of it - NO. did I expect to get much business - NO. What I wanted was a group of trusted suppliers, who when my clients or potetial client asks do you happen to know anyone who can...... I can say YES. So that I become their supplier and a go to person fo my existing clients

If that helps

  9th Apr 2018 - 10:04 9th Apr 2018
Paul OrangeTree
OrangeTree Online
Quote: Lee Rickler (Point and Stare)
Quote: Stefan Thomas (The Networking Retreat)

Lee, Eric, Paul, Chris and I on the forum. It's like a school reunion! 

/as you were

I went to the toilet ... when I came out no-one else was here 

 

Uber nostalgia

I rushed out and bought a fax machine. 

 

  9th Apr 2018 - 22:46 9th Apr 2018
Martin Gaunt
The Computer Technic...

Some good advice here, book on a couple of meetings, see how it feels to you.

  10th Apr 2018 - 07:15 10th Apr 2018
Andrea Basilio
Certified LOA Facili...

Go and experience it yoursel Robert, that is the only way you will know if it will work for you. Good luck! Andrea 

  12th Apr 2018 - 13:21 12th Apr 2018
Paul McGowan
How? Financial Review

Hi Robert, It is not so much about who is in the room it is about their contacts. I have been a member of 4N and I get half of my business from this network but also have made some lifelong friends and have used the services of many 4 N members. It should definitley part of your marketing strategy. Best Wishes Paul

  12th Apr 2018 - 16:53 12th Apr 2018
John Edward
Bestmortgage4u
Quote: Robert Schofield (Bold Truth)

Hi

I'm starting to look at local networking groups, I'm based in Huddersfield.

Wondering who attends these meetings, are they all small business owners? My clients are generally larger companies with a substantial marketing spend... Concerned I might be talking to the local florist and a few personal trainers if I go to a meeting.

Any honest advice appreciated.

Hi Robert

There are two concepts to understand within 4Networking. When we attend meetings we sell to the room and we sell through the room. The degree to which you will sell to the room is dependent on your offering and it's price. Attendees can be businesses run by one person so ability to spend may or may not be there for your product or service.

If you feel that your product will not be affordable to small one man businesses then you may derive benefit in selling through the room. Your ability to sell through the room is dependent on your ability to paint pictures of how businesses have used your product in a way people understand and the issues it solves for a business using it. If they then remember this when the people they know raise an issue or concern that your product may serve they may recommend you.

You will derive great benefit from the comraderie that meetings provide and you will find many very useful contacts who could also become suppliers for your business.

My opinions are based on being one of the longest serving continuous member with 4Networking having been a member for  8 and a half years.

  16th Apr 2018 - 09:45 16th Apr 2018
John Edward
Bestmortgage4u

If you choose to post please be aware that the author of the original post is no longer on the 4N website as he has chosen to remove himself. I spoke with him the other day and he may attend a meeting locally to himself.

 

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