6 Keys to Good Networking

MP900382854Regardless of business endeavor, meeting people and making new acquaintances is an increasingly important job skill.  Good networking forges relationships that are mutually helpful and beneficial whether or not one is involved in market research, market planning, public relations, advertising, sales or any other related activity that involves meeting people and expanding business contacts.

Despite its obvious importance, it is often the least well-implemented tool in a marketer’s kit.  Reasons for that vary, but experts say many people simply find it difficult to meet strangers and “ask for the sale” – whether that be a referral, recommendation, direction – or the actual sale.

Numerous sales training professionals have programs and methods to help people develop better networking skills, and nearly all have some elements in common.  Here are six basic keys to better networking:

Be Precise & Have an Objective

Ask for the result you want.  Don’t leave it to chance that a contact is going to surmise your need – and willingly provide exactly what you need.  Of course you don’t ask for something that’s beyond what someone you’ve just met will provide, but ask yourself: “Why are you networking and what would you like to achieve?”

Keep it simple.  You’re meeting people for the first time, so keep it light but focused.  If you have a typical profile in mind – then seek it.  If there’s a particular company exec you would like to meet – then seek contacts who can facilitate that eventual meeting.

Determine Who Can Help

Who can help you with your objective?  Does the person have the ability to make the connection, or can he or she lead to someone who can?  Are they willing to do so?

A common mistake people make is to exceed the capacity of a new contact’s willingness to help – or “over-ask.”  So don’t.  Instead, get to know the person.  Ask questions about them, their interests, and if they know anyone else at the event.

Align Your “Ask” to Their Capability

If the person can’t directly lead you to your objective, determine what they CAN lead you to.  Remember you’re networking – so network.  A new contact might not be able to help you today – but perhaps they can tomorrow.

You should also be contacting regularly – and a person who might not be able to help you just might be in a position to assist someone you know, or vice-versa.  Networking is a 2-way street, so good networkers look for opportunities to help others.

Ask for What You Need

At this point, you’ve learned a little about them.  Now, find out about their needs.  Offer any suggestions and / or display a willingness to assist them.  Typically, people will respond in kind and ask how they might assist you.

If they don’t, let them know by offering the same kind of information they provided in response to your casual questions about their needs.

Be considerate

In an appropriate way, show appreciation for the effort or help a contact has provided.  This is dependent on your personal style and the level of support provided.  A simple email or phone call will often suffice – but whatever you do, be sincere.

Maintain the Connection

Contacts are valuable – so keep in touch with the people you meet.  Remember – you’re building a network.  Maintain contact through an occasional email, phone call, or get-together for coffee or lunch.  As hard as it often is to network and build contacts – make an effort to keep them.

P2R Associates Awarded Another Hermes Creative PLATINUM Award

Hermes-Statuette-PlatinumP2R Associates today announced it has received a prestigious Platinum Hermes Creative Awards sponsored by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals for its mobile app development work. This latest award brings the total of number of major professional awards P2R has won to 27 for its work since 2007.

P2R’s latest award is in addition to one Automotive Public Relations Council – Excellence in Automotive PR Award, two International Association of Business Communicator Awards, 20 MarCom Awards and three Hermes Creative Awards previously presented to P2R for a range of integrated strategic public relations and marketing communications programs, crisis communication strategies, mobile app development and print and broadcast publicity achievements.

“P2R is a small agency that produces big results and these awards make that point,” said Cole.  “Our trademarked e³ Process™ results in unique programs that deliver success.”

For more information on P2R and our e³ Process™, visit www.p2rassociates.com, email us at info@p2rassociates.com or call us at 1-248-348-2464.

Ten Reasons to Hire a Public Relations Firm Now More than Ever

 1. Ready and On-Deck – an extension of a your communication staff, ever ready to provide services that achieve agreed-upon goals, public relations firms provide a critical perspective for clients, keeping them abreast of issues and advising them on the best ways to respond.

2. Objective Expertise – integral and trusted partners, public relations firms provide critical outside perspective and strategic counsel across a full spectrum of communications programs.

3. Stakeholder Engagement and Influence – managing the diplomacy of interaction, public relations firms improve a client’s ability to engage stakeholders such as employees, customers, media, online influencers, community leaders, shareholders and public officials.

4. Voice of the Customer – the ability to persuade through clear explanation, public relations firms help client’s research data and garner third party credibility from targeted media.

5. Messages and Conduits – figuring out the most appropriate message to present to media. The public relations mindset is your natural integrator for developing a comprehensive communications strategy and identifying the best conduits to use. Public relations firms continually fine-tune outreach activities to enhance the relevance of every marketing effort, public relations campaign, and public affairs initiative and/or crisis response.

6. Digital Know-How – because they adapt readily and integrate different communications activities, public relations firms maximize social media platforms and corresponding networks. Public relations firms serve as a combination of communications counselor, navigator and interpreter.

7. Speed to Market – Public relations firms are poised for action, built for speed and conditioned to work in the 24/7 information age. They are results-oriented and focused. By comparison, internal staffs are often bogged down by executive “pet projects” and other internal issues.

8. Fiscally Responsible – hiring a public relations firm can be extremely cost effective relative to the cost of direct employees. Public relations firms can provide peak-load capacity, which can scale up or down as programs ebb and flow. In addition, there are value-added services the firm might subscribe to that greatly enhance any communications programs but would be both costly and problematic for many staffs.

9. Paralysis by Analysis – doing nothing during tough times is not an option for any serious business operation. Public relations firms work with the highest level of corporate executive down to the critical tactical work in the trenches, always making sure clients are prepared and visible and with a higher focus on ROI than many, a firm is better positioned to keep things moving.

10. Cross-Pollination – typically, public relations firms work across multiple industries, geographies and cultures, enabling them to cross-pollinate ideas, providing clients with more robust strategic thinking and more effective marketing communications offerings.