Networking

Posted in General Discussion.Skip To Latest

Speed Couriers Nationwide Ltd

10314
Original Poster

Networking isn’t about you The problem with networking is the general misunderstanding of networking as a selfish action.

"I give someone my card. I follow that up with a call/email. I remind them that if they have work, they can contact me."

There’s a lot of “I” and “me” in those statements.

Where’s the benefit to the person you’re meeting?

Unless they have an immediate, unmet need for the services you provide at that particular moment in time, then there’s likely to be little to no benefit to their connection with you.

How many approach networking with that sort of mindset? “I’m going to meet people who I might be able to get some business from” or “There will be a lot of potential business opportunities at this event,” etc?

This mindset is wrong. It’s inherently selfish. That’s why your networking attempts are likely to fail and be fruitless.

Here’s how to fix it

Stop “networking” and start “helping”

Stop thinking of your local business events as “networking opportunities” and start thinking of them as opportunities to help people. Be a giver, not a taker. Change your mindset from a selfish one to an unselfish one.

If you can provide a benefit or helping hand to someone, they’ll remember that down the road when they actually need your services. For example, who do you think will call you when they need your services?

Person A, who gave them their card and talked about all the skills they have, or Person B, who asked about their business and then followed up with a something helpful that may be of interest to them?

You’re much more likely to get a response from person B.

People are generally put off by a 20-minute uninterrupted sales pitch, so stop aiming to generate business. Instead aim to understand and help people.

How to apply this mindset

Here is an example of method A (networking) and an example of method B (helping)

Method A Gear up for “networking” — an opportunity to drum up some business. Shake hands, swap cards and talk about yourself for a bit. Then, a day or two later, follow up with an email along the lines of, “Don’t forget about me”

Method B Gear up for an opportunity to learn about other people’s interests and challenges — don’t even think of the word “networking.” Introduce yourself, shake hands, ask for their card, then ask questions about their business and what they do. (It sort of goes without saying that you need to be genuinely interested, but you should be because they are a potential new customer) Then, in a day or two, follow up with an email with something actually helpful to them.

The key takeaways

Meet people and look for ways you can help them. Understand their business, their possible problems and their challenges — and keep them in mind. Then, when you come across a helpful article, application, referral or so forth, send it to them. Don’t expect anything back in return. Be genuine. Don’t network. Try to meet and help people. If you genuinely do, the business will follow.

(extract taken from an edited version of a blog called Brazen life) To Summarise

Phax Sameday

2344

Are you starting a consultancy business Rob

Speed Couriers Nationwide Ltd

10314
Original Poster

Far from it. I think most forms of networking are a complete waste of time. Too many places you are told you need to be using or be a part of. Muddys the waters for me, and i think just confuses the customer.

GeeGee vans

248

That was my intention of using the term of "networking" in the other thread we both commented on. I have always believed in being more generous and less likely to want back etc. I have always found if you are fair, open and honest with people it will come back in spades, maybe not tomorrow or the day after but it will come back. For now I am content with building a circle of contacts and getting some good regular work together. If and when I get more work than I can handle then the contacts I have made will benefit from the surplus work I cannot cover (if that makes sense)

Speed Couriers Nationwide Ltd

10314
Original Poster

Makes perfect sense, but if i can give you my example hopefully you'll see that what you refer to in the other thread is exactly what we have here and on other exchange sites. I have surplus work. It is both localised and Nationwide. In the old days over time we built up a network of both freelance drivers and courier companies that helped us out, and vice versa. That needed continual updating, copius cups of tea and endless chats from passing couriers who popped in seeing if there was anything they could help us with. All very nice and snuggly.

Then came exchange sites which gave everyone access to a much bigger portfolio of drivers, to use as and when, without the need for the tea, or the chat. Less snuggly perhaps, but arguably better... Certainly bigger than anything you could achieve on your own, and ensures that every single call you take can be done, whether you have drivers sitting around waiting, or if you have no drivers left at all. No need for your little black book of contacts, wasted phone calls to see who is available to help, no need for an office full of couriers waiting for the next job AND as a courier, no need to phone around telling everyone where you are. Exchange sites do all that for you. Its pretty much all automated. Faceless perhaps, not as friendly for sure, but it does work.

Dennis

676

Hmmm. Since joining this site, I have been phoned "helpfully" by half a dozen fuel card companies (out of exasperation with the latest, I asked where she got my phone number and she replied MTVan courier list. She backed off when I said my number is listed with TPS, but obviously she/they hadn't referred to it before cold calling). I wonder if I should be looking at TPS before calling to offer to help you out? :-)

Would that be "not networking", but "helping"?

Speed Couriers Nationwide Ltd

10314
Original Poster

Thats called someone trying to be clever and failing i'd say Dennis

It does highlight the fact that by letting anyone join BEFORE doing any checks, you are also allowing access to a hell of a lot of information that shouldn't be.

But that's a different thread

mtvan.com Ltd

1703

You cannot see contact info with less than 200 reputation points.

And you've got to go some to get to that level.

We don't sell or share in any way the data.

Speed Couriers Nationwide Ltd

10314
Original Poster

Yes i recall that being said before. Begs the question how they got access to his and other numbers tho doesn't it. If they'd said yell.com then fair do's but to actually say from mtvan?

mtvan.com Ltd

1703

Well, quite.

And when I say you have to go some to get there, I'm sure Dennis won't mind me using him as an example:

www.mtvan.com/courier-directory/dennis/2

Dennis has been a member for 4 months or so, and is a regular forum contributor, and is less than half way to 200rep.

So if you were a fuel card company you'd have to be very publicly pretending to be a courier for MONTHS before you got access to any contact details at all.

Scott Reid

1029

Not sure if I remember correctly, but I am sure that a little while ago someone posted up that they had joined up to a fuel card (might have been an insurance policy) which was "a really great deal", apparently. However, in the process they had also furnished the company with details of other members.

Since most of these companies usually operate a referral bonus scheme it's something that can be hard to prevent.

GeeGee vans

248

Just tried to start a new topic (maybe to do with networking in a way) but it wont let me so I will post it in here

Whilst I was on a job today I noticed a lot of white un-liveried vans of all shapes make and sizes, both passing me and me passing them. I got to thinking “I wonder how many of these vans are members of exchange sites such as this?” Wouldn't it be interesting to acknowledge another “king of the road” whilst out on a job? I might even start by putting my CX number on the back doors of my van or even try and get a window sticker made

AJM sameday Couriers

3440

GeeGee vans said:


Just tried to start a new topic (maybe to do with networking in a way) but it wont let me so I will post it in here

Whilst I was on a job today I noticed a lot of white un-liveried vans of all shapes make and sizes, both passing me and me passing them. I got to thinking “I wonder how many of these vans are members of exchange sites such as this?” Wouldn't it be interesting to acknowledge another “king of the road” whilst out on a job? I might even start by putting my CX number on the back doors of my van or even try and get a window sticker made

Not a good idea its another distraction for the white van man who can hardly drive his van these days without texting, phoning and generally thumbling about in the cab, the last thing you want is Bob from Ace couriers waving at Jimmy from Spiffer couriers has they are criusing through Birmingham, bloody concentrate man.

RAPID LIGHT TRANSPORT LTD.

2860

GeeGee vans said:


Just tried to start a new topic (maybe to do with networking in a way) but it wont let me so I will post it in here

Whilst I was on a job today I noticed a lot of white un-liveried vans of all shapes make and sizes, both passing me and me passing them. I got to thinking “I wonder how many of these vans are members of exchange sites such as this?” Wouldn't it be interesting to acknowledge another “king of the road” whilst out on a job? I might even start by putting my CX number on the back doors of my van or even try and get a window sticker made

Great idea I don't think! Why would anyone want to be in this type of 'club'? especially advertising the fact they belong to Courier Exchange

I wouldn't want a van advertising that,collecting from my customers.

Rob said it all earlier, use the exchange sites to build up your network of reliable couriers who you can call upon when needed. NOT for someone to have a cup of coffee with or chat aimlessly to. Many of us are too busy anyway!

Dennis

676

mtvan.com Ltd said:


Well, quite.

And when I say you have to go some to get there, I'm sure Dennis won't mind me using him as an example:

www.mtvan.com/courier-directory/dennis/2

Dennis has been a member for 4 months or so, and is a regular forum contributor, and is less than half way to 200rep.

So if you were a fuel card company you'd have to be very publicly pretending to be a courier for MONTHS before you got access to any contact details at all.

I dunno about "regular forum contributor". I heard tell that you post and that attracts reputation. So all these odd posts saying sweet FA, maybe just a giggle or a curse, increase members' rep? - Mine is 95 before I post this, so it'll show what the effect is.

Dennis

676

OK. It added 2 to my rep. So if I get no rep from any other feature, I'll reach 200 in another 50 posts. Bearing in mind I could get away with posting crap and inanities, that wouldn't be hard to do. I'm not inclined to do that, but I have to say it's a funny old world if I can build my rep by posting like a prat! I can't understand the thinking behind the requirement to have 200 rep before you can see the details of somebody you are working for - surely that's a bit risky, innit? How does posting prattle get me a reputation as a bloody good courier?

AJM sameday Couriers

3440

Dennis said:


OK. It added 2 to my rep. So if I get no rep from any other feature, I'll reach 200 in another 50 posts. Bearing in mind I could get away with posting crap and inanities, that wouldn't be hard to do. I'm not inclined to do that, but I have to say it's a funny old world if I can build my rep by posting like a prat! I can't understand the thinking behind the requirement to have 200 rep before you can see the details of somebody you are working for - surely that's a bit risky, innit? How does posting prattle get me a reputation as a bloody good courier?

What the hell are waffling on about have you been an MP in your last life

Jamie Goodland

382

Dennis - there's more than one way to skin a cat. I thought your name sounded familiar, when combined with the location on your mtvan profile. I checked and as I suspected, you're on other sites as your company name. A quick Google search provides your shed profile page with all your contact details. If I can do it, telemarketers surely can do it! That they said they got your number from mtvan may have been a slip of the tongue perhaps?

Enjoy this discussion? Check out these related topics: Networking, New to Mtvan, Saying Hello, Helloooooo, Site worth it.

Reply To Topic

We invite anyone involved in the courier industry to share their knowledge to other on the mtvan courier forum. If you're a member then sign in to post, if you're an owner driver or courier company then please sign up for free.

For more information on what you can discuss on our courier forum please see our courier forum guidelines.