Making Connections… old vs new

Last month we reached out to our audience asking for business leaders to come forward with their views and opinions...

In business it’s quite often “who you know?” In which case, it is social versus networking versus personal introductions.

So we reached out to the local business community to ask, “How do you connect with your prospects and peers?”

Gill Wallace, BeSocialNN
Gill Wallace, BeSocialNN

"For us, successfully connecting with prospects & peers mirrors the marketing mix, a combination of various methods works best. The majority of our prospects come from either LinkedIn or via referrals but picking up the phone or meeting in person is unrivalled in building lasting business relationships. We’re overloaded with noise and messaging everywhere we look. The only way to truly connect with a prospect and grab their attention is via highly strategic, creative and consistent marketing activity covering multiple channels."

BeSocialNN delivers great social media marketing and social good. We donate 3% of our profits to Northamptonshire charities.

Mark Ferguson, More Fire PR Ltd
Mark Ferguson, More Fire PR Ltd

“It wasn’t until the mid-2000s, when LinkedIn and Twitter became more established, that I’ve been able to effectively stay in touch with a mass of existing connections and start making new, like-minded ones online.

Keeping active on these digital platforms, talking to people, joining conversations, participating in webinars and adding your own useful information can be demanding, but it’s a crucial part of modern-day communications.

I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have built up a large network of contacts over years of working in public-facing media roles, ranging from journalism, exhibition management and editing, through to teaching and public relations, all of which have kept me ‘out there’ meeting new people on a daily basis.

There’s no clear winner between engaging online or face-to-face. They’re both part of the marketing mix, but for the really important stuff I pick up the telephone, attend specific events or catch-up over coffee.”

More Fire PR Ltd is a Northamptonshire-based public relations consultancy providing communication activities which deliver real impact for your organisation.

Mia Butler, Pistachio View
Mia Butler, Pistachio View

“I’m sociable and enjoy meeting new contacts face-to-face. In reality; time is precious, funds are limited and it’s not realistic. ROI is key so I choose to be smart.

Social Selling is a game changer. In the past it was about who you knew and where you met. Previously I made a point of refusing contacts in LinkedIn because I didn’t know them. To network, you have to be open. I am now open and rarely refuse a connection request. My network is more diverse. This means my content is richer. Now I’m not suggesting losing focus. Keep your sights on your goals so you’ll spot them in the crowd. Keep reaching out to your ideal customer inviting them to connect with you. Position your content with good video, long posts, credibility and clarity on what you do and how you can help. Finally, engage. Be interested and curious in your network.”

Pistachio View is an easy to use app for sales professionals that lets you record and send authentic video in your B2B emails.

Hannah Brady, Marketing Manager at Ocee Design Ltd
Hannah Brady, Marketing Manager at Ocee Design Ltd

As a self-confessed chatterbox, for me, it’s all about conversation and getting to know people.

Informal networking events are great, where people can catch up or get to know each other over a drink or two. Traditional networking where you are sitting at tables can work, but you don’t get to chat to as many people and the conversations can sometimes feel forced. I prefer to read the room and let conversations start naturally. I’m also a big fan of social media, particularly LinkedIn and Instagram. Great conversations can start if you comment on content rather than the safe ‘Like’,‘Share’ or ‘Retweet’. Sport is a great avenue too. Local clubs, teams or even gyms are a perfect for meeting like-minded people. Somewhere I do think we are missing a trick is on the tube. If people would put their devices down and talk to each other it would be networking gold!

Ocee Design is a UK commercial furniture working with office furniture resellers, design and build consultants, architects and specifiers.


if you would like to contribute in future editions, or pose a question, please email news@allthingsbusiness.co.uk