According to Forbes Magazine, 9 out of 10 people say their favourite type of communication is networking, so why does 1 in four of us not network at all?

On the 20th of March Tracey and I will be hosting a ‘secrets to networking’ session where we will teach you the ins and outs of networking and selling yourself. Tracey is the QUEEN of Networking, so there’s nobody better to teach you. Read below to hear what happened when we got together to chat about our upcoming event.


Today, I would like to introduce you to my amazing business friend Tracey Smolinski of Introbiz, Tracey can you tell us about yourself?

I initially started working in sales, would you believe, much like yourself Alison. I came from an advertising background and my last job was working for a business magazine. My boss told me I needed to go out networking, so off I went to my first networking event. I actually got it so wrong at first because I was networking in a very pushy way. I didn’t get any business for the first three months because I hadn’t realised that there is a firm difference between sales and networking. Although they do often get grouped together and they complement each other, there is a different way of doing it.

What we’re going to be doing in this in the session is discussing the difference between sales and networking but also highlighting the benefits when implementing both techniques. Networking isn’t about just trying to sell to people – there is an art to it. A lot of people actually get it wrong so I’m really keen to tell my story of how I got it wrong initially and flipped it to get it very right.

I think that’s great Tracey, because we constantly see people attending events and giving it the hard sell. They try to push their business cards into people’s hands and quite simply, it doesn’t work.

And it’s so important to share that with people. I can hold my hands up and say I was doing it wrong. Fortunately, I managed to get honest feedback from people, so I knew what I was doing wrong. Of course, the truth hurts, but it’s so important to take the feedback and work on it to become a better networker.

This is why I am so passionate about sharing my story. My mission in life is to reach as many people as possible to teach them to network properly. When people get business from doing it the right way, they can grow their business exponentially through the art and power of networking

So in my part of the session, I’ll be looking at the ‘Mr Men.’ I’ll be looking at how different people react to different situations and display their behaviours. Of the Four Key Pillars of Sales that I teach, we’ll mainly look at Pillar 1 – Behaviours. Looking at ‘Little Miss Chatty,’ ‘Mr Grumpy’ and ‘Mr Uppity,’ we’ll study how we can build relationships with the ‘Mr Men.’ We have a very fun session lined up!

Sounds fantastic! The nice thing about this session is that although it’s primarily teaching networking and sales, it’s also an opportunity to network with those around you. I always say to people, wherever you go, whoever you meet, whatever you are there to do, you should always turn it into a networking opportunity. We’re going to be teaching you all of the skills you could possibly need to network effectively, and you have an opportunity to put them into practice right away.

I think that’s a really good thing, Tracey, and you know that from a networking perspective, building that initial relationship helps you to network effectively. If people feel comfortable and relaxed, there’s much more scope to network well. For me, I strongly believe that to be good at something, you have to love it. I do think that for people who struggle with networking, they don’t love the concept and it becomes a perpetual dislike. This becomes a vicious cycle where people will avoid it and will then send somebody else to from their team. The issue with this is that they may not have the same level of passion for the business. For me, that’s one of the main objectives of this session – I want people to love both sales and networking because that’s when the magic happens!

Absolutely! The problem is a lot of people are scared of networking and there’s really no need to be! When you look someone in the eye, start engaging and ask questions, that’s definitely when the magic starts to happen. I will also provide attendees with a copy of my book, Master Networking as well as my Fortune in the Follow Up too. I’ll also share my story of how we connected with Lord Sugar – trust me, you don’t want to miss this!

Oh, I can’t wait to hear it! So IntroBiz is celebrating its 10th birthday, what a huge achievement. That’s 10 years you have been networking and encouraging the Welsh economy to grow via the work you do. You can learn this all when we do our course together, which is on the 20th of March at 9:30 – 12:30, can you give us the address where will we actually be doing that Tracey?

Yes, so it’s at Alexandra Gate Business Centre, Unit 2 Alexandra Gate, Ffordd Pengam, Cardiff. It’ll be in a boardroom upstairs and there will only be about 30 of us so it will be really nice to really delve deep into people’s businesses.

Let’s not forget that we have an Early Bird offer on at the moment which runs out on the 14th of February. If you book before this date, I will also give them an online profile which will help them to identify their own colours. This is valued at £60, which is £11 more than the early bird ticket itself! … And don’t forget it’s not just for women! You can book your tickets by clicking the button below.



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