How wide is your networking circle?

28 Feb


How wide is your networking circle? Is it restricted to your city, maybe your region or perhaps the whole country? If you export goods or services, you might be going overseas to build up your contact list.

On another note, how easy is it to ignore poorly written approaches from cold-calling suppliers – but more to my point, how do you spot an opportunity to bring these two things together?

I’m sure you are used to getting emails from people who do not have English as their first language, just as I am that you get approaches from the Far East, India and other places containing badly crafted approaches and grammatical errors. I recently received an email enquiring about one of my clients that fitted into that category and, although it would have been easy to dismiss, I replied to see if I could be of any help by improving the company’s marketing approach.

After the exchange of a few emails, suggesting ways in which her writing could be improved, the correspondent agreed to let me re-write her introduction letter. I also recommended that she test and monitor the new letter and feedback on responses she gained from potential leads, and if all went well, I could look at producing a series of follow-up marketing letters for the company. The next day she rang me from Austria to say how surprised she was at the difference my discreet changes to her copy had made and that while the company had initially been targeting the UK for prospects, it now intended to try to engage markets in Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands using my revised copy.

A few days later and she was back in touch to say that she would be in England during March and could she come and visit my client? The company works with over 3,000 customers worldwide, many of whom could be very interesting referral connections for my client. If nothing else comes of this networking connection, we will use it as a good PR opportunity to show that my client is engaging with businesses on an international level. Of course, none of us know where this opened door could lead and what benefits it might bring. What we do know, is that if I had not spotted the opening and replied to the email, none of us would be any the wiser, better connected or talking with potential new clients way beyond our city, region or country borders.

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