Business Development Clinic: Your 5 a day

In today’s business development clinic, Jon Baker, discusses the 5 networking activities you should do daily. As Jon explains here, successful business networking is about taking small steps, every day. Growing a great network takes time, but then you can harvest the results. This article is about 5 steps that you can take every day to grow your network, so that you can have a bumper harvest.

Business Networking IS relationships

I remember at my first ever networking event (once I got over my nerves and actually went into the room) being told that networking is about “givers gain”. If you are going to get somebody else to help you, help them first was my first interpretation. After all, you don’t win business via networking, but via the strength of the relationships in your network.

Click here to download our free ebook "The reluctant business developer's guide to winning clients". (email required)

Later I realised some networking relationships that are far more important than others. Some people will know more of your target clients than others do. These people are worth getting to know, and from those relationships come results. You could even call them your A-listers.

Networking 5 a day

The 5 a day concept for business development comes from the ‘eat 5 fruit and vegetables a day to keep yourself healthy’. So, I keep a count and make myself eat my five a day (despite not always feeling like them). Yes I am feeling healthier; which is just as well, would you want Heather  nagging you?

Your business networking 5 day

I’m now going to share with you 5 easy things you can do to help build and strengthen the relationships in your network. However, before you do this, make sure you have a networking strategy, to make sure you are doing 5 of the right things with the right people. (Click here to download the ‘Guide to building your personal networking strategy’ from our career kitbag)

Try this diet for the next couple of weeks and see if it helps, let me know how you get on…

  1. LinkedIn: Initiate two target discussions. You could use endorsements, recommendations, their status updates or something they’ve said in a group. If they’re in your target, send a comment to them – no selling (did you read 3 mistakes people make on social media?) Your aim is to get a discussion going. You could go even further and take our 9 minute a day LinkedIn challenge (click to read it).
  2. Pick up the phone: Now here’s something scarily old fashioned. Who do you know that you’ve been talking to recently, that you could take the relationship offline? You might just ask how they’re doing, you might comment on a recent article/status update, you might even arrange a one to one (if they’re in your target market).
  3. Google+: If you’re not yet using it, click here to read how-to-start-using-googleplus. But use it for a quick conversation starter, by commenting on somebodies article and using the +FirstName Lastname in your comment. While you’re there, post one of your own recent articles. This is even easiest if your targets are all in a circle.
  4. RT: Pick a couple of targets and retweet one of their tweets. This makes it easier to later get into discussion with them, and only takes a couple of minutes.
  5. Email: Drop a note to somebody that’s on your A-List, specially if they’re not normally on Social Media. Ask how they are, start a discussion

So, there’s my 5 a day. Eating them takes about 10 minutes. What do you think, how will they help make your network healthier?

About Jon Baker:

Jon BakerJon Baker is a Business Coach, Sales Trainer and Experienced Public Speaker who specialises in working with partners and potential partners from small firms – typically up to 10 partner practices. He helps the professionals with 5 to 50 staff improve their performance and grow their firm, sustainably, profitably and whilst enjoying the experience.

Click here to download our free ebook "The reluctant business developer's guide to winning clients". (email required)

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