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The true value of networking & why you should join 1230

Journey of a successful 1230 networker

I hadn’t been doing my jewellery sales for long. It started when a friend of mine set up a wholesale company selling jewellery and I started to help her by doing the trade shows and orders.

I thought “I could sell this!” So I bought a few bits from her and began asking my friends if they would have a party for me, which they did, but having exhausted all my friends I thought – what now?!

I couldn’t think of a way of getting out there, so one miserable day sitting at my computer, I started looking at networking as I had heard about it but was not sure how it worked.

I hit the Goggle button on “ladies networking” – 1230 came up, so I had a look. It was a good site, easy to use, I looked up where the meetings were held and when, and 1230 Purley came up – Bingo!!! It was meant to be as I live in Purley so I booked in for the next meeting on 1 April.

This is how my first year’s membership of 1230 started. Arriving at the meeting I was met by Val Apps of TasQuotus coaching and Charlotte Emery of S.E.A. photography. Even though they made me very welcome all the time there was a knot in my stomach as I knew that at some point I was going to have to stand up and talk in front of the group for a whole minute. This seemed like a lifetime, but I tried to put it to the back of my mind while I was introduced to other ladies.

We all talked, had our meal and then the time came – I stood up, felt myself go red and trembling with fear I blurted out who I was and what I did. I drew in a sharp breath and sat down – “thank goodness for that” I thought.

The one minute talks continued and everyone seemed to speak so easily and they were all really interesting. I made some good contacts that day and left feeling super-charged and ready for action. I also made an appointment with Val to discuss the way forward with my business which I found very helpful. I booked an appointment at Charlotte’s studio to photograph some of my jewellery – Charlotte also booked a jewellery party. Two of her friends booked parties and Charlotte put me in touch with the person who ultimately produced my logo and stationery.

I wanted to get to some of the other 1230 groups and at 1230 Oxted, I met some more great business women, including Sharmila Mohile of Sharmila’s Indian Kitchen and booked a cookery course with her; I couldn’t recommend that highly enough – fantastic! The contact I was given to have a stand at a village fete proved successful, as was the resulting fete.

By then I had the bug and realised I’d become a network tart! Attending 1230 Sevenoaks introduced me to Beverley Hamilton of Positively Life Changing. Beverley is an amazing networker and I started to help out at her meetings when I could. She has put me in touch with lots of women. I have also met some great women at her group – Ali Hollands booked a party with me as did Ann Marie Riva of Riva Energy. Karen Young from Utilities Warehouse bought some pieces of jewellery from me and has also helped me sort out my energy bills.

I’ve also met the wonderful Denny Gaskell of Metamorphasis; Denny can transform your property if you are trying to sell it – her home is a dream. Denny held a hugely successful party for me and her friends have also shown an interest in booking jewellery parties.

Attending 1230 East Grinstead I met Christine Wise whose business is also Utilities Warehouse; even though I could not use her services Christine had a party for me and I have been able to refer people to her. Christine’s friends also booked parties. Phew! Donna Rowe suggested that I contact some schools regarding school fairs which I did and they too have been successful.

It was now time to hit 1230 Woking. I arranged with Fiona Syrett the 1230 Manager to have a table for my jewellery, where I made some great sales and great contacts.

From there I went to 1230 Wimbledon where I met 1230 Manager Teresa Leong. Wow! what energy she has and what an enjoyable meeting. Taking some of my jewellery and handbags, everyone loved the items, this too was a successful meeting for sales. At the 1230 Wimbledon Christmas meeting, I won ‘Miss Sexy Santa’ in the fancy dress.

Meeting Meera Winder who owns a beauty therapy shop called Body Rejuvenation and Wellness Centre in Oxshott, my jewellery has now been in her shop for 3 months. I have had some wonderful facials by her therapists. Meera also carried out a body scan on me to see what was happening internally. Well there is no hope as I may as well give up now – I’m not giving up my wine !!!!! However, it was very interesting and if I had the will power to detox I would definitely go to Meera.

So now to 1230 Esher and a big group there with a caretaker Manager as JoJo was away. A great meeting where I sold some pieces. I’m amazed at the number of different businesses and skills all these women have.

Where is left I hear you ask – well 1230 Beckenham with Clare Parker – great meeting very relaxed and again I managed to sell a few pieces and book a party. I also booked a stand at the 1230 Regional Christmas event, but as I was at the clothes show in Birmingham my Mum and friend Candice stepped in and “manned” the stand for me – they too were made to feel very welcome.

I couldn’t turn down the table offered by Heather O’Brien at 1230 Tonbridge my next “victim”. I took a friend with me who I’m encouraging to join because of the brilliant opportunities available at the 1230 meetings; she is an image consultant and helped the ladies with their choice of colours with the jewellery and shrugs – another enjoyable meeting. Also a big thanks to Estelle Gillett who has become a good customer, even getting her husband to buy presents for her from my Collection – Estelle has got it right!
I attended 1230 Bromley also run by Clare Parker where a fantastic speaker from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust provided tips on personal safety – another great meeting

From there – 1230 Sutton where Clare was caretaking the meeting and doing a good job. It was a small group but I took some new pieces along and made some good sales.
Meeting Rachna Sachdeva who runs the magazine Mums in Control for the first time, we arranged to meet for lunch where I placed an advertisement in her magazine and she bought me back some lovely pashminas from a trip to India.

The 1230 fund-raising event for Ovacome with Frank Usher Fashions at the Gherkin was a fabulous night – wearing one of my necklaces helped and I made two very good contacts. The fashion show and speakers were great and I won a raffle prize. I can’t wait until next year’s event which I’ve heard is on 25 September, 37th floor at Canary Wharf!

The 1230 We Mean Business! in Bromley at the Churchill Theatre was inspirational – I even took an event booking!

I had 30 events booked from October ‘till Christmas! How was I going to do all these? Thankfully Mum was on hand to help. By 20 December I was exhausted and Christmas did not really happen – what a year! And it has already started again – Maude from TheBestof Croydon has put me in touch with a fashion show where the models may well wear my jewellery. I’m talking to some interested wedding organisers who may want me to do the jewellery for the brides.

The meeting at the new venue for 1230 Tunbridge Wells in Southborough was a very well attended and successful for me. From this meeting run by 1230 Managers Mandy Shepherd of Bluebird Hypnotherapy and Karen Wilkinson of Molly Maid I have been given two possible events. The next meeting was 1230 Kings Hill also run by Karen and Mandy – another successful table sale!

More recently I attended 1230 Mayfair and am going to do a table in March. Also in March I will be attending a fashion meeting at 1230 Chislehurst with Manager Janet Woollett from VM Direct – this will be just with my accessories as there is a jewellery lady attending.

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Posted by Fiona Coppard – Electra Collection on 30/09/2009 23:26:45

About the Author Jackie Groundsell

Jackie Groundsell is known as the queen of women's business networking lunches - the connector. She supports thousands of small business owners through her events and lunch-time meetings

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