How often have you needed a plumber, electrician, or mechanic and instead of hitting the yellow pages (or Google if you’re living in the 21st century!) you ask for recommended companies already used by family, friends, or even friends of friends. It’s clear that word-of-mouth is a very powerful tool.
A survey conducted by smallbiztrends.com revealed 85% of those questioned said customers learnt about them through word-of-mouth, with search engines used as a secondary source at 59%.
At Analox we believe in a strong network and this is highlighted through our wide range of global distributors who sell our products. We’re proud of our products and believe in talking to people face to face in order to reiterate this passion and to thoroughly discuss what a customer needs.
Last week we attended the annual conference for NOF Energy, the business development organisation working on behalf of companies within the oil, gas, nuclear and offshore renewables sectors, held in Gateshead. We attended along with approximately 400 other exhibitors to discuss current themes in the industry and listen to expert’s views and opinions on key developments within the market.
Groups like this exist to provide a network for companies and experts who work within similar industries to meet and share ideas, conduct business and inherently learn. We were able to use the event to expand our knowledge of the market, and understand the issues directly affecting businesses in that sector.
There are some fundamental benefits of networking, which have been outlined in an article by Marilyn Messik, author of Networking Step by Step.
Messik states there are seven key benefits of networking, and we’re inclined to agree:
- Forming strategic partnerships
- Access to products and services
- Access to expertise
- The exchange of ideas
- Mutual support
- An objective view
We’re not denying that perhaps our main objective at exhibitions is to sell our products or get distributors on board, but it’s definitely not the only reason. We’re constantly looking to expand our knowledge of different industries and understand what current challenges they’re facing or trends they’re experiencing.
The exchange of ideas which spark discussion and debate are invaluable. Networking events or exhibitions are often the platform for this to happen, so don’t be scared to come and say hello to any of our employees who’re often out and about, because if it’s not clear already…we like to talk!
Author: Melanie Smith, Marketing Executive