It’s often said that it’s not “what you know” but "who you know” that counts. Whilst I’d be the first to admit that contacts and connections can be a great help in life and in business, it’s pretty helpful to know your stuff too!
Being a keen and proactive networker, my business has had great results from networking over the years. Now, networking for me and others in Camino, is part of the way we do things.
We are hearing that cold calling is dead and it’s all about social media and attraction marketing. Whilst this may be a trend, I don’t think it will ever be entirely true, but I do view networking as a subtle form of attraction marketing. In simple terms, meet someone, build a rapport with them, and some credibility – and you are much more likely to do business with them in future.
My objective when attending industry event is a combination of the “who you know” and the “what you know.” I attend to learn about trends and best practice in our industry just as everyone else does, but I’m also there to build on existing relationships and develop new ones. I must be doing something right because at a recent event, Penta’s Paul Clark said he sees me everywhere, Blue Sky’s Tracey Barrett said I’m at all the events she goes to, and APSCo’s Marilyn Davidson said she thought I’d “ turn up to the opening of an envelope” (I think that was meant as a compliment!
So what I have I learnt from the last few events I’ve attended?
1. Employee engagement is key. James Calder and his team at Mcildowie are doing great things in this area, and they would be a good company to benchmark against. Alternatively both APSCo and Elite have measurement tools you can use to see how you’re doing!
2. Niche is the way forward. This is not lost on Camino, given our own niche in the recruitment sector. A great and emerging niche player is Acre Resources (http://acre.com/) led by Richard Wright. Acre is doing excellent work the area of sustainability. It’s also strong on values, employee engagement and customer feedback. Its Acre Bench is also an interesting and bold initiative. I’m still thinking about whether we should copy his idea with the “Camino Cabinet.” If anyone knows Acre, how do you think this idea would transfer to the recruitment sector?
3. Dean Kelly of Synarbor spoke about managing his business by reference to the 3 C’s – Cash, Consultants and Costs. – It’s a principle that seems to have served him very well!
4. Olivia Sheffield – a World Champion Public Speaker – said at a recent Recruitment International event that we must “speak to inspire, not to inform.” She also said “leave them wanting more”.
So with that in mind, more thoughts from networking next week! It’ll be a busy week with events hosted by Staffing Industry Analysts, Blue Sky, Hacker Young and others. Have a good week!