Networking knowhow


AMBITIOUS co-founder Mel Beeby Clarke knows a thing or two about networking.

In addition to maximising networking opportunities for PR agency clients, she is also Co-Chair of Women Outside the Box, a business club network for women in Bristol.

Day-to-day her job involves networking, so ahead of the Bristol and Bath Women in Business Awards tonight, Gavin Thompson, Business Editor at The Post  asked Mel to share her networking knowhow:

She said:

“Be yourself. Many people make the mistake of thinking they have to act almost like a walking key message for their business. Yes, you want people to know about what you do and seek out possible opportunities, but it starts with building relationships.

“Rather than worrying about what you will say to people, think about what you can ask others.

“Everyone enjoys the company of someone who is interested in what they have to say, and you might find if you can help someone else out they will do the same for you in the future.

“Don’t think of networking as a short-term route to quick sales, think of it as a longer-term investment.

“When you go to a new group or somewhere you don’t recognise many people, avoid the temptation to hide in the corner checking your iPhone.

“Try to get involved in one of the many clusters of people – it’s highly unlikely that your approach will be rebuffed – or head for the tea and coffee, where there are usually other people keen to strike up conversations.”

We’ll certainly be following the awards on Twitter via @BristolPost  and #WIBA.
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