Tips on How to get Value from your Membership

Business Networking in Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch

'Get the value out of your membership' – that is message being drummed into regional groups as the Tool Box continues to be rolled out by WIBN Ambassador Joannah Bishop.

Solent's September meeting was boosted by seven visitors who learned that WIBN is all about sharing and what we can do for one another. Jo took us back to basics with timely reminders about what business networking does – it empowers your business, you make genuine connections and get rid of the need to cold call.

"It brings new opportunities and contacts and through that, you will expand and grow," said Jo.

Jo pulls no punches that membership is a commitment and investment, and if you take time out of your busy day to share ideas and experience in valuable one-to-ones, fix a follow-up and keep building that rapport with your new connection.

There's a certain etiquette involved too; it's partly plain, old-fashioned good manners – be punctual, send an apology if you have to cancel or reschedule, and always be respectful, because another person is making time to learn about you.

When you know your professional networking group, the one minutes can become tired. Jo reminded us to use our names at the beginning and end, change the content and share tips – always done so well by Michelle Eames – and have a good strapline.

"Make a note to yourselves," Jo concluded. "Be prepared for change and to grow with a sense of humour and a smile."

Members are looking at new ideas and target markets. Lisa Lavis will make a 10% donation to the charity of a client's choice for Christmas commissions such as a calendar, e-shot or similar seasonal promotional item, whilst Kirsty Ricketts is keen to hear from those seeking long haul breaks between now and next Easter or planning cruises in 2016.

Our group has two new members, Susan Wall and Pauline Grant, whilst visiting member Kate Mottershead asked for pricing feedback on the decorative glassware she is producing via a new venture.

Visitor Elena Rayner-Melnikova, a qualified Public Health Nutritionist and importer/stockist of the Siberian pine nut oil, plans to join. She set up her company nine years ago and despite English being her second language, has embraced life here and forged a successful import business.

Let's Talk Business produced a range of referrals, including:

• Jo and Dawn Palmer suggested Belinda Poore (craft centres) as an ideal connection for Kate.
• Michelle said she saw a synergy with bookkeeper Susan as a fellow professional, not merely a work clash, and recommended Denise Smith for personal dedication to banking customers and speed in setting up accounts.
• Sue Hughes thanked Lisa for sharing extensive knowledge at a one to one and spending additional time on a comprehensive marketing audit.
• Coach Sheila Jennings has put Sue in touch with head of marketing at a corporate asset finance company relocating in the area.

Also, don't forget to post your biography on the WIBN website, and videos if applicable. Jo distributed an excellent Tips' sheet and asked for feedback and training/shared learning ideas to be sent to her or Jacqui Frampton.



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