E-Business: Networking Rules the Roost When It Comes to Finding New Customers

Article excerpt

Fifteen times as much new business comes from networking than from the Internet.

Recommendation and introduction from respected service providers also flies high.

Good old-fashioned interaction and networking skills rather than websites and the Internet are the prime source of new contracts amongst the fastgrowing pool of independent business consultants in the UK.

And close behind networking is recommendation, word-of-mouth and introduction by established and respected service providers who specialise in matchmaking task and challenge with available skills.

Fifty per cent of independent business consultants, 46 per cent of male interim executives and 43 per cent of female interim executives source new clients through networking, while only three per cent comes from websites in the case of independent business consultants and male interims. No new business comes from female interims' websites.

The findings are from a survey of 330 entrepreneurs carried as part of an MBA course at Bristol Business School.

The survey also found that traditional business development tools such as targeted direct mail and advertising provided equally thin results: only 4.5 per cent of new business came from direct mail and three per cent from advertising. Nick Robeson, deputy chairman of the Interim Management Association and chief executive of Boyden Interim Management, said: 'Networking skills rule the roost when it comes to business consultants and interim executives identifying and landing new clients, and is probably a strong indication of where and how most professionals gain new business. …