Using business networking to launch new products and services

One of the ways I have used networking over the years, and recently, is to launch new products or services into the wild.

It is an ideal platform, in my opinion, to move something quickly from concept to reality. The Networking Retreat EXPERIENCE, for example, was originally suggested to me by Brad, then floated round in my head for a while, and then, when I decided to get on with it, went from blank piece of paper to selling tickets within about four hours.
My network is very large, I’ve put in the effort, and continue to, to grow and nurture that network.

But my point is this. Asking people around you if they think something is a good idea is not the basis to believe something is going to be successful. Look at all those people on X Factor who were told they were good singers. We don’t like to offend, we try (usually) to be polite. So when someone asks us, at a networking meeting if their new idea is a good one, we tend to say “yes mate, sounds fantastic”.

My worry is that people base their sales expectations on exactly that, a few polite expressions of interest.
The only rock solid way to gauge whether you’ve got your product/service and marketing of it right is to ask people to get their chequebooks out, to actually bring it to market. That’s when you get their actual opinion. Any amount of asking people beforehand may make you feel better, but actually bringing it to market gives you the brutal and real feedback.

Once you are marketing, if things are going well, brilliant. If people aren’t buying, you have a choice, either throw in the towel or adjust your approach. I choose, constantly, to adjust my approach and listen to the feedback, some of which may be silent.

I run The Networking Retreat in Oxfordshire. If you want to learn exactly how to make your networking even more profitable, and network with some of the most forward thinking business owners in the UK, take a look –

“I implemented one more thing from the Retreat and it has resulted in a new client which gives me a positive ROI within 6 days”
Claire McTernan – Employee to Business Owner

“within two months I went from an average of one client per month from networking, to five clients”
Samantha Rollins, Trinity Accountants