Tag: #Networking #virtual_meetings

Having a virtual bubble

Well, it’s all done and dusted and the remains of the turkey, which as always, was of ostrich proportions, is sliced, diced and frozen. Now into the New Year, when my mantra for 2021 will be “Never talk about 2020” I’m going to get my last CoVid-19 comment in.

Every four months I visit all my Groups, have 1-2-1s with Group Directors and, at Christmas, take this as an opportunity to wear one of my elf outfits (FYI I have three). This year the Group meetings were quite emotional, as people said “thank you” to other members, the GDs and, a few times, me. During one meeting a member summed it up by saying that their Group had become their ‘virtual bubble’, providing a safe place with people who would support them, whether with their business or their wobble days when emotionally they were not coping so well.

This member then said something that made my heart glad, and my eyes moist, they said “Glenys you should be very proud of what you have created”, and, you know, when I took time to think about it, I am proud. I’m proud that people have felt able to share their concerns, maintain and grow their businesses, supported each other and are still standing at the end of this year. When I decided that all our meetings would be held under the Chatham House Rule (what is said in the meeting cannot be attributed outside of the meeting) I did it so that people can have a place of safety where they could share their concerns without fear that it was going to appear on the 9 o’clock news.

This has worked and continues to work. Within each Group people have shared and been supported. People have visited and joined because they have seen the worth, experienced the ethos and felt supported. And, since business can be a lonely place, I am proud of what I, my GDs and my members have achieved

When we are in business we worry about all sorts of things—staff, customers, cashflow seems to cover it for me. We celebrate when the business grows, when we get that contract, when our team grows, when we need larger premises, and we agonize when the business shrinks, or we don’t get that contract, when we have to make difficult decisions about our team members, and we realise that maybe we didn’t need such a large office.

Rarely do we take time to feel proud, of what we’ve achieved; the business we’ve developed and nurtured. However we started our business, whether from scratch or buying something that we have then moulded and grown—I’ve done both—it has taken persistence, passion, strength and commitment. So today, as you read this and we head into a brighter 2021, let’s all take a moment to feel proud of what we have achieved.

My New Year gift is some support for your networking in 2021. Go to www.ebn.uk.com and download my Top 20 tips.

Have fun, stay safe


Once upon a time…

In the last week I have been asked the same question three times: How do I tell people about all my different services when I first meet them? My answer was the same: don’t.

Many companies have a business category, e.g. IT support, but this is made up of lots of products and services: hardware, security, etc. Tell people all that and you will see them glaze over and stop engaging with you. Don’t forget that networking is about building relationships, not overwhelming people to the point when they switch off.

My advice? There are two parts to this.

The first part is to tell people what your business category is. (Assuming you have said your name and company name.) Then you can say “We have lots of products and services”. You can, if you want, say “For example” and list two or three of the services, followed by “Today I’m focussing on helping people who need to have their cyber security reviewed”.

The second part: tell them a story. Think half a page, not War and Peace. As humans, we understand stories. Give it a beginning, a middle and an end. For example, “Cyber security is getting to be more and more of a problem”, throw in some stats if you must, and then “Recently we helped a firm of solicitors who had lost £250,000 because someone hacked …”.  (This is not my area of expertise, so bear with me.) “We were asked to look at all of their systems and we found 5 ways of ensuring this kind of attack could not happen again, and we also put in place a system that will constantly keep the company protected.” ” So…this is the kind of help we want to give to others—do you know any solicitors who you would feel able to introduce me to?”

Then shut up and let them talk. One final thing: if you see people snuggling down for the night, you have spoken for too long. Refine the story.

If you would like some more tips on networking, go to ebn.uk.com and at the bottom right hand side you can download my top twenty tips.