6.30 am to 8.30 am
I was out of the house at 6.30 am to attend the Manchester Business Breakfast Club, the networking organisation I have belonged to for a few years now. I meet every Friday morning with somewhere between 25 and 35 other businesses, none of whom compete. The objective is for us to give and receive introductions and referrals to each other.
Today, I had enquiries about my presentation skills workshops and three people booked onto my nationwide programme entitled “Discover the Secrets of Working the Room”. More importantly I was able to help three of my members with introductions they were seeking. I introduced my solicitor many years ago to the club and in the boom times he was getting 15-20 mortgage instructions per week from a mortgage broker fellow member.
This was a fast and furious session and finished at 8.30 am. For the very modest fee a full breakfast was included although at that time of the morning a lot of people thought twice about the greasy bacon rolls. Mind you, others made up for the ones who declined!
8.30 am to 9.30 am
I rushed to the office, checked the post, collected a few cheques from accountants, lawyers and surveyors who had booked on to our nationwide programmes around the country and them aimed for Piccadilly Station.
10.00 am to 12.30 pm
I am not a snob but there is one time I like to go first class and that is on trains. The very good pragmatic reason for this…you do more networking there than in standard. And, hey presto, I sat in the (mid-morning) carriage all on my own down to Birmingham, well that was until my old friend Phil got on the train with me, so we sat together. Phil and I had met at the Manchester Business Breakfast Club when it first opened and we had spent many happy hours over the bacon butties. Well, at least he had the bacon I simply had the cornflakes.
He was putting together a conference and invited me to speak in the spring of next year.
I asked him whether he would have asked me had he not seen me on the train and he said “probably” but the fact that he saw me made it so much easier and booked me there and then.
12.30 pm to 4.30 pm
Arrived in Birmingham where I went to one of the City’s major hotels to present to a large firm of solicitors. It was their regional conference and my job was to entertain them showing them how to change their attitudes on networking. I presented “From Cave Dweller to Hunter” explaining how professionals can promote themselves without actually turning them into sales people.
This seemed to go down well, at least the delegates said so on the closing What do you think? sheets.
4.30 pm to 5.30 pm
I rushed off to get a train to Newcastle, which, of course, was late.
5.30 pm to 11.00 pm
The journey should have been a three hour 20 minute jaunt from Birmingham up to Newcastle (where I was going to be presenting the following day). In the end I arrived at Newcastle 2½ hours late. Not only was the train delayed but the so-called “through train” broke down twice, once in Leeds and once in York. So we had to change twice but it didn’t matter to me, I am the networking guru! On the first train I sat opposite a gentleman who turned out to be a senior partner in another firm of major solicitors. As all good networkers do, I initiated the conversation and we got on like a house on fire. At the end of the journey (first stage) we swapped cards and he was quite happy to take my call and receive my literature within the next few days.
On the second train I met two lady teachers who were on their way to a conference and accompanying them was a welcomed bottle of wine. They were in party mood, I was in party mood too and we had a great journey. One of the benefits of networking is to obtain information and learn. What I learnt from these two teachers (who had been instructing far longer than me) were some extremely good techniques and one or two excellent phrases, which I am now using in my presentation.
I also met a lady called Nina, a 20 year old who in fact has never actually been on a train alone. Because of these changes she was extremely nervous so I took her under my wing (with the other two ladies chaperoning!) and helped her through to the end of her journey at Darlington. Again, one of the great principles of networking is to give.
I got into a taxi absolutely exhausted arriving at my hotel some half an hour later ready for the next day of fun, social and networking!
The author of this article is Will Kintish, leading UK authority on effective and confident networking both offline and online. If you’d like Will to speak at your conference or training workshops, call him on 0161 773 3727. Visit www.kintish.co.uk and www.linkedintraining.co.uk for further free and valuable information on all aspects of networking.