Are your engineers networking regularly enough?

1 min read

Despite Britain's claim to have the best design engineers in the world, according to a recent survey, UK engineers rate themselves lowest when it comes to networking skills. Dean Palmer reports

Despite Britain's claim to have the best design engineers in the world, according to a recent survey, UK engineers rate themselves lowest when it comes to networking skills and getting off their seats to talk to clients. The poll, commissioned by PizzaExpress, looked into the 'art' of business lunching in 21st Century Britain and revealed that 22% of new business in engineering is won each year as a result of networking, compared to a national average of 32%. And more than 50% of the engineering industry said they had business lunches just three or four times a year. They're also least likely to have met contacts through getting out and about socially with just 29% of those engineers questioned responding positively, compared to the national average of 40%. Engineers are also the most likely to stay sober. A third of those questioned said they never drink on a business lunch, compared to the marketing sector, of whom a third said they always drink on a business lunch or dinner. The study also revealed that: 33% of engineers admit they've ordered something from the menu without knowing what it is; they spend an average of £27.37 a head on the meal compared to the national average of £28.66; a fifth of the engineering industry like to entertain clients at the theatre and nearly two-thirds say they've networked over a gin and tonic at the golf club; the majority of people lunch to strengthen existing customer relationships (a third of those questioned said their clients expected it!). "Networking seems to be the cog in the wheel in helping a business grow, as well as keeping it front of mind for business associates. Business lunching is a growing market for us," said PizzaExpress' David Sykes. Although a tough economic climate may have something to do with the results, it still indicates that perhaps UK engineers should be doing more when it comes to winning over clients, networking and developing business leads.