When I’ve worked with larger organisations, particularly but not exclusively in the professions, something which is really common is to discover their own clients buying services they could provide but from competitors.

People often think of networking as something external, something outward looking, something to gain business or referrals from people outside the organisation. But the benefits of networking internally are often overlooked, and it doesn’t even have to involve breakfast meetings!

A common reason for this is not that their competitors are better, or lower priced, but that the customer simply didn’t know that the organisation provided those services.

The author Stefan Thomas in front of a banner with the words Talk to Strangers behind him.

What’s a single piece of advice you remember hearing from your parents or teachers over and over again when you were young?

I bet, amongst all the answers, that one of the most common pieces of advice is:

Don’t talk to…







No matter where I’m speaking, even if I am being translated into a different language, every audience in every country knows the answer to that one and shouts it out to me!

And then we start our own business, or are representing someone else’s, and have to go networking! …

The author, Stefan Thomas, speaking in front of an audience at an event called The Business Networking Show

What’s stopping you? No, not the thing you tell yourself is stopping you, what’s really stopping you?

Years ago, I remember driving during work hours and seeing people out jogging. I vividly remember thinking how great that look and if only I had more time, and wasn’t working all the time, that I would do that too. By 2001 I was working from home a lot of the time and, guess what, still never found time for jogging.

In fact, in 2020, over twenty years since I first had that thought, lockdown happened, I literally couldn’t go anywhere in the…

The window display of a shoe shop

Regularly, Sharon and I walk past a particular shop. I’m not going to say which shop, or even where it is. But we walk past it often enough to notice that they haven’t changed the display in the window for some time now, months I think.

They do sell some stuff that we might buy, in fact I did buy something from them, based on what they had in their shop window, some months ago.

But with nothing new or intriguing in the window since then, we haven’t been tempted to go inside. …

The author stood in front of a wall covered in graffiti

After having attended around 1000 networking events around the UK, and spoken to many thousands of people along the way, it’s no surprise that I have met more than a few network marketers.

Some of them get networking absolutely right, and build thriving teams as a result, and yet many seem to struggle to get any traction.

This article is not intended to be exhaustive, but I’ve put together five pointers which I hope will help you in your journey to networking success.

  1. Don’t try to hide what you do. The most successful network marketers I know are proud of…

The author’s two Grandfathers. One a barber standing underneath a barber’s red and white pole, the other a butcher, pictured with his wife.
My Grandfathers — Gwyn Thomas the barber, and Alvah Tucker, the butcher

These two are my Grandfathers, known in the family as Alvah (who was a butcher and then District Manager for a large firm of butchers) and Grampy, who was a barber.

I’ve realised just how much I learnt from them, and how important who they were has been to my career.

Grampy, as a professional barber, was an expert in conversation and particularly letting people talk about themselves and their lives. He kept the conversation going and also respected how chatty, or quiet, that customer wanted to be. He got to know his regular customers and their lives, so that…

Stefan Thomas, the author, sitting at a desk at a virtual networking event.

It’s Monday, it’s 8am and it’s……..

Ok, so most of you are too young to shout “Crackerjack” at that (and I think that was on Friday afternoons, not very early Monday mornings in any case). But how about putting some preparation into your networking this week?

Something I wrote previously was that everything in networking is about what you do after the event, but actually, to be more accurate, a lot of your success in networking comes from what we do before the event too.

Networking can easily be seen as a play in three acts, our preparation, what we…

Two photos of the author side by side, showing a before and after of his weight loss.

Recently, I’ve lost some weight, having decided in February that I needed to. I hit a little milestone this morning (three stone loss) and it has left me reflecting on a few of the things I’ve learnt over the last few years, which I think are relevant for business as well as life.

You’ve got to want it, whatever ‘it’ is. I’ve known logically for years and years that I needed to lose weight, but somewhere deep inside me, I didn’t want to. I wasn’t a big fan of life for a long time, so somewhere inside me there really…

A picture of The Mandalorian with the caption ‘This is the way’.

In March 1978, my Mum took me and some friends to see the film that was then called Star Wars, which we now know as Episode IV — A New Hope.

My love for that franchise has been lifelong, from the original three films, through the prequels (yeah I know), the sequels, the spin offs (Solo is underrated) and The Mandalorian. I love the universe, how everything works together, the stories, the stories behind the stories and, of course, the characters.

Luke, Leia and Han have been part of my life and one of the reasons I keep going back…

Fifteen ideas to help you promote your business during lockdown — and most of them are free.

As we head into lockdown, again, it is easy to worry, and to think that your business has to stop, or slow down. But there is a load of stuff we can do, not just in terms of our networking, but to continue to promote our business, perhaps in ways we haven’t thought of before.

In fact, it is possible that lockdown even gives us an opportunity to think about and try different ways of building our network and our business, which wouldn’t…

Stefan Thomas

Keynote Speaker. Author of Business Networking for Dummies, Instant Networking & Win The Room. Trainer. Mentor.

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