I met Andrew at a seminar organised by my publisher (sounds awfully grand doesn’t it?). This is his first book and I know it will not be his last.
Let me say from the outset that any and every professional (dentists included) must be able and willing to network with the owners of other small businesses in order to promote their services. The days of sitting in your surgery in the presumption that people will just beat a path to your door are long gone. The current trend for marketing in the virtual world is all well and good (and imprtant) but nothing, I repeat nothing, is a substitute for meeting people face-to-face.
However there are two things that bring dentists (and many other small business owners) out in hives, the first is “selling” and the second is Business Networking. Well there is no longer a reason to put off the latter because Andrew has written a really excellent guide. From the very first page the author keeps everything as simple as possible – but no simpler. He never patronises or talks down to the reader but takes you through the why, when and how of Business Networking which he defines as “being about building solid, quality relationships over time”. The only new thing is the number of ways in which we can communicate with each other.
In his introduction he explains for whom he has written the book, what the book is not about and why he has the right to tell the reader how to do things. His writing is precise and his messages easy to follow.
Thereafter every chapter is self explanatory as he goes on to explain exactly what Business Networking is in its full sense, why every small business needs to do it and where and with whom to network. He takes both the novice and the experienced networker through the importance of getting your mind-set and message right and of good preparation – don’t think you can just “wing it” as you won’t get anywhere at all. Frequently business networking events are held at breakfast time – don’t look as if you have just rolled out of bed it doesn’t impress prospective patients. Please don’t forget your business cards!
The second half of the book deals with being effective during networking events and employing the correct and appropriate follow up systems. Finally there are tips on techniques for performance monitoring, improving your speaking and enhancing your memory.
I truly wish I had read this book when I attended BNI, FSB, Business Link and Chamber of Commerce events all those years ago instead of making mistake after mistake. Even the most venerable of room workers will gain something from Andrew’s book.
Available from Amazon here.