Sandler Training, the UK’s leading sales, management and leadership training organisation, has launched a new programme aimed at helping decision-makers recognise the power of effective networking in business. Using the strategic application of proven behaviours, networkingworks! enables professionals to increase performance and help maximise sustainable revenue and profit. This is achieved by building a good referral based networking plan and leveraging key relationships to meet their goals.

networkingworks! has been designed with managers in professional services organisations in mind. The 13-step programme enables those who are uncomfortable with networking beyond their immediate professional circle to access a higher level of relationships and more qualified referrals. It additionally creates a process employees can follow to achieve lasting results.

Sandler Training has identified a series of factors contributing to negative networking experiences. These include the absence of a strategy or goals for networking, limiting ourselves through feelings of stress or fear and under-preparing for those more important connections. Sandler also encourages developing skills for one-to-one networking that complement and enhance connections made via social networks.

Shaun Thomson, UK CEO comments, “For many people networking brings to mind awkward business card exchanges, or making seemingly superficial small talk. There is also the perceived pressure that to network well, you must be super-confident and great at selling yourself to get immediate results. Successful networking is about committing to new techniques to build personal and relevant relationships over time. It’s not about selling but emotionally engaging with your network to deliver lasting results.”

networkingworks! takes learners through the key stages to successful networking, from setting clear goals and defining your target market through to identifying the relationships that could potentially revolutionise your career or business. Creating a support network, building meaningful relationships as well as delivering value to your network (helping contacts through your referrals) and consistent follow up are all ways to do this.

Shaun continues, “Not everyone is born a natural networker. Our programme can really give people the hand-holds they need to overcome perceived barriers to effective networking; increasing confidence and securing the mind-set and attitude for success. We’re all busy people and while social networks are a great starting points, nothing takes the place of that one-to-one connection. By having the right system in place you will achieve a far higher return on investment through networking activity. It’s at the heart of so much in business so it’s important to treat it as you would any other area of your work – by tracking results and being accountable so as to maximise business results.”